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.

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

By: - January 14, 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 8, 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 7, 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 […]

Some Democrats push to rescue climate plan in Biden spending package

By: - January 5, 2022

A group of congressional Democrats on Tuesday called for preserving the climate portions of President Joe Biden’s stalled domestic spending bill as Democrats in the U.S. Senate rewrite the measure. U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tina Smith of Minnesota and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, along with Reps. Kathy Castor […]

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, 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 in 24 states a mandate […]

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

By: - December 27, 2021

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 23, 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 […]

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

By: - December 21, 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 […]

Arizona Sen. Sinema opposes filibuster carveout to advance voting rights legislation

By: - December 20, 2021

Arizona’s enigmatic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema remains opposed to weakening the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for moving ahead on legislation, even as other Democrats are floating the idea of making an exception to the chamber’s rules to pass major voting rights measures. In a statement to States Newsroom, a Sinema spokeswoman said the senator supports the […]

Two top officials at federal public lands agency will remain in Colorado office

By: - December 17, 2021

The Bureau of Land Management plans to keep two senior positions in western Colorado as most of the agency’s leaders move back to Washington, Director Tracy Stone-Manning told BLM staff in an email Tuesday. Eight assistant directors and deputy assistant directors will relocate to the Interior Department’s headquarters in the District of Columbia, Stone-Manning wrote. […]

U.S. House Dems pass anti-Islamophobia bill, condemn Boebert remarks

By: - December 16, 2021

The U.S. House following a vitriolic debate passed a bill along party lines Tuesday night to create a State Department office that would counter Islamophobia worldwide. Democrats said a conflict much closer to home showed the need to confront anti-Muslim bigotry. The bill sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.), picked up momentum after Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert […]

Haaland promises governors federal help for fires, drought

By: - December 14, 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 on Thursday, Haaland touted funding for Interior priorities in […]