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 Ohio Capital Journal. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Capitol dome

What’s in – and out – of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

A medical worker holds vaccine vials

FDA panel recommends OK for Pfizer’s vaccine for kids 5 to 11

By: - October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON – A federal vaccine advisory panel on Tuesday recommended authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a decision that means as soon as next week everyone in the U.S. over age 5 is expected to be eligible for a shot. The vote by the Food & Drug Administration panel, with 17 […]

A computer generated image of the coronavirus

Feds OK ‘mix-and-match’ approach for COVID-19 booster shots

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given a green light to Americans who want to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by a different company than the one that produced the initial shot they received. The announcement Wednesday on allowing “mix-and-match” shots from different manufacturers will give more flexibility […]

A vial of covid vaccine

Kids age 5 to 11 next in line for COVID-19 vaccines as White House rolls out plans

By: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – Smaller needles. Redesigned shipments to ease the storage needs in pediatricians’ offices. And enough vials of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the 28 million U.S. children between ages 5 and 11. Those are among the plans announced by the White House on Wednesday as federal and state officials prepare for a regulatory decision […]

President Joe Biden walks down a hallway

Why there’s such an impasse in Congress: Some questions and answers

By: and - October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congress may have kept the federal government operating with an 11th-hour flurry of votes on Thursday, but several key pieces of the Democratic agenda remain in limbo. Here are some questions and answers on where negotiations stand with two massive Democratic-drafted bills — and the status of other looming challenges for federal lawmakers:  […]

An American flag sticking out of a pile of paper money

Congress passes bill to prevent government shutdown, send out $28.6B in disaster aid

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline. Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included […]

The Capitol building against a blue sky

Senate GOP torpedoes U.S. government funding bill, raising odds of federal fiscal crises

By: - September 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats on Monday evening to begin debate on a broad bill that would avert multiple looming fiscal crises for the federal government. The measure to briefly keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year on Thursday, as well as to increase the borrowing […]

A medical worker holds vaccine vials

Who will get a booster shot? A Q&A about what the feds are saying

By: - September 23, 2021

This story was updated on Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. with new information about booster shot recommendations. WASHINGTON – Booster shots soon will begin rolling out to some Americans who received the two-shot vaccine made by Pfizer – after a contentious and confusing federal approval process that isn’t over yet. Determining who exactly should be […]

A closeup of a child's foot with a monitor attached and the gloved hands of a medical worker

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids

By: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. […]

The U.S. Capitol at night

U.S. House Dems propose $28.6B in disaster aid for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, floods

By: - September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats unveiled a short-term spending measure on Tuesday that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters.  That disaster relief money is slightly more than the $24 billion that the Biden administration asked Congress to approve for extreme weather events […]

Exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court schedules Dec. 1 oral arguments in major abortion case

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 1 in a case that threatens to overturn decades of abortion protections established under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The upcoming case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, stems from a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. […]

Gray Pfizer sign on company headquarters in New York City.

FDA panel backs COVID-19 booster shots only for elderly and high-risk Americans

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON – A federal health advisory panel wrestled Friday with whether to widely authorize a booster dose of Pfizer’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for most Americans, ultimately recommending that a third dose be offered only to older or higher-risk individuals.   The Biden administration had hoped that states could begin rolling out a wide national booster shot […]