Author

Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

Congress clears one-week bill to fund the government, but many hurdles remain

By: - December 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate sent President Joe Biden a one-week government funding bill late Thursday, giving negotiators a few more days to wrap up talks on what is expected to be a $1.7 trillion package to keep the federal government up and running through September. The short-term bill is the second time Congress has […]

White House resumes handing out free COVID-19 rapid test kits

By: - December 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is once again offering Americans the opportunity to order free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests from the federal government, a program that it had shuttered amid an ongoing stalemate with Congress over additional funding to address the virus. The program will allow each household to order four free COVID-19 tests as […]

U.S. House and Senate GOP at odds over massive government spending deal

By: - December 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to wrap up its remaining must-pass bills before leaving for the holidays — but a split between Senate Republican and House GOP leaders could hamstring the all-important task of funding government operations and averting a partial shutdown. Senate Republicans are working with Democrats in both chambers to negotiate a major […]

Biden signs law extending marriage protections to same-sex and interracial couples

By: - December 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Same-sex and interracial couples had many of their marriage rights codified Tuesday when President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan marriage equality bill during a ceremony attended by thousands outside the White House. In a brief speech, Biden told supporters on the South Lawn that “marriage is a simple proposition — who do you […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice […]

Michigan’s Stabenow, Minnesota’s Klobuchar rise in U.S. Senate Democratic leadership

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday elected their leadership for their new 51-seat majority in the upcoming 118th Congress, elevating two Midwesterners — Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow to the No. 3 slot and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar to the No. 4 role.  Stabenow, chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and Klobuchar, chair of the […]

Marriage equality bill heads to Biden’s desk following bipartisan U.S. House vote

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill Thursday that would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue holding many of the rights they have now, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the cases that established those constitutional protections.   The measure now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to […]

Congress on track to scrap Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in defense bill

By: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. military would no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a proposal Congress could pass as soon as this week.  The provision eliminating the vaccine mandate is tucked into the massive National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that Congress has passed each year for […]

A record-setting number of women will serve in state legislatures in 2023

By: - December 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — A record number of women will soon serve in state legislatures, breaking the previous cap of female lawmakers by at least 69 seats and bringing total representation to more than 32%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.  States will have at least 2,376 female lawmakers in 2023, including both women […]

Democrats strip Iowa of first-in-the-nation prize, tap South Carolina for first primary

By: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Voters in South Carolina would go first in picking Democratic presidential nominees, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan if their states go along with a proposal a key Democratic National Committee panel approved Friday.  The Rules and Bylaws Committee’s nearly unanimous voice vote proposes moving the Democratic primary’s earliest election date […]

U.S. House GOP to keep earmarks for local projects — with some ‘tweaks’

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans voted Wednesday to keep earmarks in place when they take over the chamber in January, a move that solidifies GOP support for the controversial spending practice that was brought back under new guardrails and transparency mechanisms less than two years ago.  Earmarking has become especially important to members of both […]

U.S. House Democrats make history electing first Black party leader in Congress

By: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — The three U.S. House Democrats who have led their party through four presidencies and thousands of floor votes formally passed the torch to the next generation Wednesday, when the party gathered behind closed doors to elect its top leaders for the 118th Congress.  House Democrats named Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, as their […]