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.

Senate panel advances nomination of Missouri’s Robin Carnahan to head GSA

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel on Wednesday unanimously advanced the nomination of former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to lead the federal Department of General Services. The bipartisan voice vote by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sends Carnahan’s nomination to await a vote by the full Senate. If confirmed, Carnahan, 59, would […]

Marjorie Taylor Greene in new attack on Fauci demands his salary be stripped

By: - June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Tuesday led a group of House Republicans calling for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, formalizing their intense criticism of his public statements and actions throughout the coronavirus pandemic into legislation. Those GOP lawmakers can’t actually oust Fauci from his post as director of the National […]

Troubled Maryland plant told to toss part of the J&J vaccine ingredient it manufactured

By: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health regulators have instructed Maryland’s Emergent BioSolutions to scrap some batches of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine substance manufactured at the company’s troubled Baltimore plant, while clearing a small portion to be used in the U.S. or sent abroad. Two batches of the J&J vaccine substance made in Baltimore were deemed “suitable […]

Earmarks list for states in U.S. House infrastructure bill tops $5.7B

By: - June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats’ highway funding bill is poised to include roughly three out of five transportation projects submitted by members, as legislators vie for their share of federal dollars through the resurrected congressional earmarks process. The 1,473 projects that made the cut were out of 2,383 that Democratic and Republican legislators requested for […]

‘Get a shot and have a beer’: Biden touts free brew, pro sports tickets and child care to boost vaccines

By: - June 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Free childcare during COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Late-night appointment slots on Fridays. And free beer for everybody over 21 if President Joe Biden’s vaccination goal is reached next month. These are some of the latest incentives and strategies lined up by the Biden administration to boost national vaccinations against COVID-19 leading up to the […]

Senate GOP filibuster blocks bipartisan commission to probe U.S. Capitol insurrection

By: - May 28, 2021

Updated, 1:51 p.m. with comments from Peters WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans on Friday blocked consideration of a bill creating a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump attack at the U.S. Capitol. Legislation to form an investigatory panel into that attack passed the House of Representatives […]

Biden urges Congress to act on policing reform after meeting with George Floyd family

By: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, his family returned Tuesday to Washington, D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws. Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death — the deadline that President Joe Biden had urged lawmakers […]

Biden allocates $1B to prepare for hurricane, wildfire season

By: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

Not one usable vaccine so far out of plant with multi-million-dollar federal contract

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Angry U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday had one key question as they grilled executives of a Maryland biotech manufacturer forced to dump 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: Has there been one usable vaccine dose produced as a result of the $271 million paid to date by the U.S. government? […]

Law enforcement officials urge action against rising numbers of ‘ghost guns’

By: - May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has promised a crackdown on so-called “ghost guns,” and during a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, law enforcement officials from Pennsylvania and Maryland described how an exponential increase in those firearms — which are easily assembled from kits and not subject to federal gun laws — has expanded the workload of their […]

CDC advisory panel signs off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel is recommending that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be administered to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, making it the first shot available to those under 16. The green light granted Wednesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is expected to be affirmed swiftly by […]