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 Ohio Capital Journal. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

U.S. House votes to override Trump’s veto of annual defense authorization bill

By: - December 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday evening to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a $740 billion defense spending bill, setting up the first veto override of Trump’s tenure. Following Monday’s 322-87 vote, the bill heads back to the Senate, which is slated to return to session Tuesday. Overriding a presidential veto […]

U.S. House approves $2,000 relief checks backed by Trump

By: - December 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure Monday evening to send $2,000 checks to many Americans, embracing a call from President Donald Trump to more than triple the direct payments in the massive coronavirus relief package signed into law Sunday night. A bill to boost the relief payments cleared the House on […]

A presidential election like none other, and now an inauguration like none other

By: - December 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — As with so many other events during the year preceding it, the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will be a ceremony unlike those of his predecessors. Tempering the celebratory tone is a directive from Biden’s inaugural team for supporters to refrain from traveling to D.C. for the Jan. 20 swearing-in. Instead, they’ve urged […]

Congress passes massive ‘first step’ in pandemic relief with $900B package

By: - December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congress on Monday night cleared and sent to President Donald Trump the first major COVID-19 relief measure since the spring, a sprawling spending bill that would provide $900 billion in pandemic-related aid but still didn’t go far enough for many Democrats. House leaders divided the bill into two parts and passed the emergency […]

What’s in the $900B emergency relief bill—and what’s out

By: and - December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Here is a look at the specifics in Congress’ bipartisan emergency relief bill intended to aid Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summaries from House Democratic appropriators say it includes: DIRECT CHECKS —$166 billion in another round of economic impact payments that will go directly to Americans. —$600 stimulus checks for individuals that […]

Congress seals the deal on emergency relief after dispute over Fed lending settled

By: - December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — A deal on a coronavirus relief package finally emerged on Sunday night, after members of Congress resolved a days-long impasse over a provision sought by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to ensure that several temporary Federal Reserve lending programs will end this year. Working through that disagreement over the Fed was a key final […]

Congress close to emergency relief deal including direct payments, added unemployment benefits

By: - December 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — A coronavirus relief deal appeared within reach late Wednesday following months of stalemate in Congress, potentially providing much-needed help to Americans facing expiring unemployment benefits and states distributing the new COVID-19 vaccine. A final deal also may include another round of direct payments, with Sen. John Thune, (R-S.D.), suggesting to reporters that those […]

FDA authorizes first COVID-19 vaccine, clearing the way for states’ rollout

By: - December 15, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized for emergency use the first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., a decision that serves as the starting gun for the vaccine logistics efforts that states have been preparing for months. The vaccine authorized for emergency use from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech began shipping across the […]

US Rep. Marcy Kaptur with Rep. Andy Levin and Rep. Tim Ryan

Kaptur withdraws from race to head U.S. House spending panel, endorses new chair

By: - December 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats selected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, (D-Conn.), to head the powerful Appropriations Committee on Thursday, after a three-way election in which she defeated colleagues from Ohio and Florida. The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee recommended DeLauro for the post earlier this week over Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Florida Rep. Debbie […]

Arizona’s Mark Kelly sworn in to the U.S. Senate, narrowing GOP control

By: - December 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — Arizona’s Mark Kelly was sworn in Wednesday as a U.S. senator, giving the state two Democrats in the Senate for the first time in nearly 70 years and reducing Republican control in that chamber to 52-48. Kelly, a Navy veteran, astronaut and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, defeated Republican Sen. Martha […]

Washington at a standstill, as states face the loss of federal help amid ‘the worst part of the crisis’

By: - November 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — The number of coronavirus infections across the country is swelling at a perilous time for state governments, just weeks before federal support rushed through Congress in the pandemic’s early stages is set to end. The expiring provisions from the $2 trillion CARES Act and subsequent executive orders will mean reductions in unemployment benefits […]

Seven members of Congress test positive for COVID-19 in one week, as U.S. cases surge

By: - November 19, 2020

WASHINGTON — Seven members of the U.S. House and Senate announced during the past week that they have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a burst of infections on Capitol Hill as cases have surged across the country. At least 29 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year, […]