DC BUREAU

Our Washington, D.C., bureau reports on congressional delegations and key Supreme Court and administrative decisions that affect our state.

STAFF

Jane Norman

DC Bureau Chief

Jane directs national coverage, managing staff and freelance reporters in the nation’s capital and assigning and editing state-specific daily and enterprise stories.

Laura Olson

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

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

Ariana Figueroa

DC Bureau Reporter

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

STORIES

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

BY: - September 16, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee last week approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures.  The […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping social spending bill

BY: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee has finished legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote last week, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant $3.5 […]

U.S. House Democrats add more mass transit, high-speed rail in second shot at infrastructure bill

BY: - September 15, 2021

The U.S. House transportation panel early Wednesday passed along party lines the panel’s $60 billion slice of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan, adding nearly $20 billion for a new transit program and high-speed rail development in the states. Chair Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan […]

Revised Klobuchar voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats to farming.  The $66 billion […]

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

BY: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic. The upcoming vaccine rule for companies with at least 100 employees is one plank of an […]

Minnesota borrowed from feds to cover unemployment comp. Now the interest is piling on.

BY: - September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Minnesota, which struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, faces yet another challenge: The interest on federal loans it relied on to cover payments to the unemployed started accruing Monday. It is one of 10 states — which include Colorado, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — […]

Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states including Minnesota and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities […]

Biden administration to restart oil and gas leasing

BY: - August 24, 2021

The Interior Department will make significant steps toward restarting its leasing programs for onshore and offshore oil and gas development in the coming months, the Biden administration said in a court filing Tuesday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management anticipates holding a sale for offshore leases in October or November, the administration said.   The Bureau […]

U.S. House passes voting rights bill but Senate approval unlikely

BY: - August 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Tuesday passed, 219-212, along party lines a bill to reinstate a core section of the Voting Rights Act — a direct rebuke to state laws the bill’s supporters say have restricted voting rights. The bill, named for the late civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic U.S. Rep. John […]

House Democrats advance budget resolution, overcoming standoff on timing of infrastructure vote

BY: - August 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday muscled through a $3.5 trillion budget framework, overcoming a standoff with a handful of centrists who had demanded the House first approve the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate. That position by 10 House Democrats — including Reps. Josh Gottheimer of […]