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.

Congress clears temporary extension of federal transportation programs

By: - October 29, 2021

The U.S. House on Thursday night approved another short-term patch for funding of federal transportation programs, essential for keeping roads money flowing to states despite an impasse in Congress. The bill, passed 358-59, would keep programs running at funding levels first approved in 2015 as lawmakers and the White House seek a bargain to pass […]

States, tribes grapple with drought

By: - October 21, 2021

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday. The situation is likely only to worsen as the climate changes, leaving states and tribes in competition for their most vital resource. Representatives from the […]

National parks nominee pledges to ramp up workforce, improve staff morale

By: - October 19, 2021

President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the National Park Service told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday he would work to rebuild the agency’s workforce, which has shrunk even as park attendance hits new records. Charles F. Sams III, of Oregon, would be the first enrolled tribal member to lead the National Park Service. He is […]

Experts: Investments can soften blow of climate change, but needs are great and urgent

By: - October 10, 2021

U.S. senators on Wednesday promoted a federal hurricane system’s performance in New Orleans during Hurricane Ida, but noted that other regions experienced devastation that is likely to worsen as climate change produces more intense and frequent storms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System in response to […]

U.S. attorney quit under pressure from Trump to reject election results, new report confirms

By: - October 8, 2021

Former President Donald Trump forced a top federal prosecutor in Atlanta to step down because he wouldn’t help Trump overturn his loss of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, a U.S. Senate report released Thursday said. The report, written by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, found that the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung […]

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: President Joe […]

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

By: - October 1, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to -control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states […]

U.S. Senate confirms Stone-Manning as public lands chief, overcoming months of GOP attacks

By: - October 1, 2021

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Thursday night to make Tracy Stone-Manning the first confirmed director of the Bureau of Land Management since the Obama administration. The vote, 50-45, ended a contentious confirmation process for Stone-Manning, a senior adviser for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation who served as chief of staff to […]

Huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage’ hits flight attendants

By: - September 26, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

U.S. House Dems add more mass transit, high-speed rail in 2nd 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. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan infrastructure […]

Great Lakes funding and 3 other big climate items in Congress’ reconciliation bill

By: - September 13, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday 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 […]

House Dems kick off reconciliation process with $30 billion Interior bill

By: - September 3, 2021

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday inched toward approval of a $30 billion bill to fund climate, tribal and environmental programs. Thursday’s meeting marked the first time a congressional committee considered any piece of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending plan meant to fundamentally change U.S. health, climate, education and tax policy. Democrats plan to move […]