Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Minnesota Reformer. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Dozens of GOP lawmakers to reject certifying Biden as president

By: and - January 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The final step in a turmoil-filled 2020 presidential election is set for Wednesday, when Congress will certify election results showing that Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump. But a series of objections from GOP legislators is expected to stretch that routine process into a much lengthier one — and one that is dividing […]

A presidential election like none other, and now an inauguration like none other

By: - January 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — As with so many other events during the year preceding it, the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will be a ceremony unlike those of his predecessors. Tempering the celebratory tone is a directive from Biden’s inaugural team for supporters to refrain from traveling to D.C. for the Jan. 20 swearing-in. Instead, they’ve urged […]

Omar, Emmer vote to uphold Trump’s veto of annual defense authorization bill

By: - December 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday evening to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a $740 billion defense spending bill, setting up the first veto override of Trump’s tenure.  Following Monday’s 322-87 vote, the bill heads back to the Senate, which is slated to return to session Tuesday. Overriding a presidential veto […]

Only one MN Rep. votes against $2,000 stimulus checks backed by Trump

By: - December 29, 2020

This article has been updated. WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure Monday evening to send $2,000 stimulus checks to many Americans, embracing a call from President Donald Trump to more than triple the direct payments in the massive coronavirus relief package signed into law Sunday night. A bill to boost the […]

Congress passes massive ‘first step’ in pandemic relief with $900B package

By: - December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congress on Monday night cleared and sent to President Donald Trump the first major COVID-19 relief measure since the spring, a sprawling spending bill that would provide $900 billion in pandemic-related aid but still didn’t go far enough for many Democrats. House leaders divided the bill into two parts and passed the emergency […]

What’s in the COVID-19 relief bill, and what’s not in it

By: and - December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congress is set to pass a massive bipartisan emergency relief bill that’s intended to aid Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summaries from House Democratic appropriators say it includes: Direct payments —$166 billion in another round of economic impact payments that will go directly to Americans. —$600 stimulus checks for individuals that begin […]

CDC panel advises states to prioritize health care workers, nursing home residents for COVID-19 vaccine

By: - December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — Health care workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities would be the first people in the U.S. to receive COVID-19 vaccines under recommendations approved Tuesday by a federal advisory committee. It will be up to each state to determine how exactly to distribute doses of the vaccines, which could […]

News organizations project Joe Biden will be next president of the United States

By: - November 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden’s native state of Pennsylvania on Saturday secured his victory to become the next president of the United States when The Associated Press reported he had gained enough votes there to win the electoral college. The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m., which gave the former vice president 284 […]

U.S. Justice Department to send staff to monitor polling places in Minneapolis

By: - November 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice will have staffers on the ground in 44 counties and cities across 18 states on Election Day, monitoring for violations of federal voting-rights laws — fewer states than in 2016. The localities this year are in cities like Minneapolis and 17 other states, including Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, […]

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House, capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House — an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through […]

Trump in final debate slams pandemic aid as a ‘big bailout’ for blue cities and states

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Asked during Thursday’s final presidential debate about why another round of economic relief hasn’t been approved to aid unemployed Americans and struggling local governments, President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, pointed fingers at opposite ends of the U.S. Capitol. Trump blamed House Democrats for the stalemate over another coronavirus stimulus […]

Trump tests positive for COVID-19, enters quarantine

By: , and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, throwing the presidential campaign into a new uproar. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted. Late Thursday, Bloomberg News had reported that Hope Hicks, a close aide to Trump, had […]