Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter in the States Newsroom Washington bureau. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues as well as climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

Forest Service in ‘paradigm shift’ to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

By: - January 25, 2022

The Biden administration will use $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, announced the new strategy in Phoenix […]

Biden says ‘big chunks’ of his spending bill could still succeed, including climate plan

By: - January 20, 2022

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the climate and child care provisions in his domestic spending agenda could still become law this year, even as the larger plan has stalled in the Senate over other items that Biden conceded may not pass — such as an expanded child tax credit. In a nearly two-hour news conference, […]

Federal pipeline standards backed by top energy regulator after Colonial Pipeline hack

By: - January 20, 2022

New federal powers are needed to prevent major energy disruptions like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that left the East Coast short of gas at the pumps for days, the chairman of the federal commission overseeing energy and some U.S. House Democrats said Wednesday. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed a proposal by […]

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

By: and - January 14, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state of Michigan is expected to receive $563.1 million over five years to build, repair or replace bridges. […]

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

By: - January 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys general from Ohio, Missouri, […]

Supreme Court appears wary of Biden vaccine-or-test employer mandate

By: - January 10, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared unconvinced Friday of the Biden administration’s authority to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on private businesses, casting doubt on a key piece of the White House COVID-19 response. The justices seemed potentially more comfortable with another Biden administration rule to fight the virus that requires certain health care workers […]

‘We thought that we would die’: Lawmakers probe painful Jan. 6 memories

By: - January 6, 2022

Democrats in Congress marked the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday recounting the terror they experienced first-hand — and argued that it gives them even more reason to pursue voting rights legislation. They remembered the desperate scramble to hang on to the boxes that held the presidential vote tally, the rush […]

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for Head Start workers in 24 states

By: - January 4, 2022

A Louisiana federal judge has put a hold on President Joe Biden’s mandate that Head Start workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a former President Trump appointee who previously ruled against a vaccine mandate for health care workers, issued a preliminary injunction on New Year’s Day restricting the executive branch from enforcing […]

Federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, creating headaches for states

By: - January 1, 2022

Most states in the U.S. are in violation of a major federal drug statute.  The 1971 Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana in the most dangerous category defined in the law, on par with cocaine and heroin because of its supposed potential for abuse and lack of medical applications.  But 36 states plus the District of […]

Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months

By: - December 22, 2021

President Joe Biden will continue a pandemic-spurred pause on student loan repayments until May 1, he said Wednesday. Loan repayments were set to restart Jan. 31, following months of the U.S. Education Department not requiring payments during the pandemic. Biden told the department to extend the moratorium initially placed by President Donald Trump’s administration. It […]

Haaland promises governors federal help for fires, drought

By: - December 22, 2021

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland pledged federal resources and cooperation with governors from 19 Western states to tackle wildfire resilience, drought management, oil and gas cleanup efforts and other issues made more difficult by climate change. Speaking at the Western Governors Association meeting outside San Diego last week, Haaland touted funding for Interior priorities in […]

Schumer vows U.S. Senate action on voting rights and social policy, as Manchin rift deepens

By: - December 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he plans to force votes on voting rights, a sweeping social policy bill and a change to Senate rules early next year — even as members of his caucus have made clear in recent days Democrats lack the support to pass those proposals. In a letter to […]