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 Michigan Advance. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

In final debate, Trump slams pandemic aid as a ‘big bailout’ for blue cities and states

By: and - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Asked during Thursday’s final presidential debate about why another round of economic relief hasn’t been approved to aid unemployed Americans and struggling local governments, President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, pointed fingers at opposite ends of the U.S. Capitol. Trump blamed U.S. House Democrats for the stalemate over another coronavirus […]

Barrett nomination advances to the U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will […]

Michigan, other states struggle to draft COVID-19 vaccine plans while in the dark on details, funding

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Across the hundreds of pages of plans that state officials sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on distributing and tracking the yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are more questions so far than answers on how exactly vaccine programs will be carried out. Yet states will be on the front […]

How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce learned to love House Democrats

By: - October 16, 2020

Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago by winning competitive districts like the Southeast Michigan seat now represented by U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens and the Nevada seat now held by U.S. Rep. Susie Lee. Now Stevens and Lee are among nearly two dozen House Democrats to benefit in their reelection […]

Michigan doctor, lawyer testify on Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation

By: - October 15, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two Michigan residents — a family physician and a former law clerk — testified virtually before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday as the panel wrapped up its consideration of whether Judge Amy Coney Barrett should be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Farhan Bhatti was tapped by Democrats who say Barrett’s […]

Tlaib urges CDC to order moratorium on water shutoffs

By: - October 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — A pair of Democrats on the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week called on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a nationwide moratorium on drinking water shutoffs. The letter from U.S. Reps. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who lead the panel’s environmental subcommittee, […]

Supreme Court confirmation hearings to plow ahead amid COVID-19 infections

By: - October 12, 2020

Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee beginning Monday for what’s expected to be an unusual and contentious four days of hearings on her nomination for the Supreme Court. Democrats sought unsuccessfully to block those hearings, raising concerns about the short time frame before Election Day, the urgent need to […]

Could COVID-19 delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

By: - October 3, 2020

One of the few obstacles that could prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this year is the coronavirus. That potential threat was on display Friday, when news of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was followed by a similar announcement from U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who […]

Trump to stay ‘the next few days’ at military hospital for COVID-19 treatment

By: and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland late Friday afternoon, where White House officials said he is expected to stay for “the next few days” for treatment of COVID-19. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Trump, who disclosed his diagnosis earlier Friday, as having […]

Biden says he’ll support election outcome, but Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’

By: - September 30, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general-election ballots. Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris […]

Trump mocks masks, blasts state COVID-19 shutdowns in 1st debate

By: - September 29, 2020

The two men vying to become the next president offered a stark contrast to voters on face mask requirements and on how soon state economies should reopen amid the pandemic, just two of many areas where they squabbled during Tuesday’s contentious and often chaotic first debate. The exchange between President Donald Trump and former Vice […]