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.

A doctor talks to an older patient

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

By: - September 16, 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 […]

Vials of the COVID vaccine

Arizona attorney general first to sue over Biden vaccine mandate on private businesses

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit against the Biden administration’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies with at least 100 employees, arguing that the federal requirement violates the U.S. Constitution. In the legal complaint, Brnovich argues that the vaccine mandate President Joe Biden announced last week violates […]

Closeup of a vaccine vial in a person's hand

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

By: - September 9, 2021

This story was updated on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. 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 […]

Joe Biden signs papers at his desk in the Oval Office

Biden to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and contractors, reports say

By: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with no opt-out for testing under an executive order that President Joe Biden is expected to sign Thursday, according to several news outlets. The new requirement will be rolled out as Biden gives a major address Thursday afternoon on new national strategies for combating […]

Exterior detail shot of the U.S. Supreme Court building

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

By: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing – and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Gray Pfizer sign on company headquarters in New York City.

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

By: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that […]

Exterior of the CDC building

COVID-19 booster shots to roll out starting next month

By: - August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – Top U.S. health officials announced a plan Wednesday to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans starting Sept. 20, with the scheduling of the additional shot to be based on when a person was fully vaccinated.  The new round of jabs will be extended to those who received the two-dose vaccine from either […]

From left, U.S. Reps. Mondaire Jones and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Jimmy Gomez of California sit on the steps of the Capitol

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The […]

Joe Biden signs papers at his desk in the Oval Office

Bipartisan group of senators and Biden strike deal on $550B in new infrastructure spending

By: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of U.S. senators say they have worked through the sticking points on a major infrastructure package, paving the way for a vote to begin debate on that proposal as soon as Wednesday evening. That announcement came a week after Republicans blocked a test vote on the deal, with GOP senators […]

Exterior of CDC headquarters

CDC says the vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas with high infection rates

By: - July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – Federal health officials on Tuesday urged Americans in areas of the country with the highest surges in COVID-19 infections to once again wear masks when they are in public, indoor settings – even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The updated recommendations marked a sharp shift from the agency’s guidance in May […]

Workers on a bridge over a turnpike

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that […]

Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

By: - July 14, 2021

WASHINGTON – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the […]