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.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Brielle Robinson, daughter of the late Army Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, joins veterans advocacy groups, activists, politicians and fellow victims' families during a news conference about military burn pits legislation outside the U.S. Capitol on March 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. The legislation, called the SFC Heath Robinson Burn Pit Transparency Act passed the House of Representatives and is aimed at addressing issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans’ access to earned benefits and care. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate in turnaround backs aid for veterans exposed to burn pits

By: and - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation that would provide health care and benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances while deployed overseas, after many Republicans switched their votes and decided to once again back the legislation. The shift came after days of protest and vigils outside the U.S. Capitol, […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Four members of U.S. Senate unveil bipartisan bill ensuring nationwide abortion rights

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators released legislation Monday that would codify Roe v. Wade, ensuring pregnant patients throughout the country once again have the right to an abortion.  Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said the measure, […]

Lindsay Church, in dark shirt on left, executive director and co-founder of Minority Veterans of America, and a veterans advocate protest outside the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 1, 2022. The individual on the right did not want to be identified. The table is a memorial to fallen comrades. (Photo: Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Stalled U.S. Senate bill on veterans’ burn pit exposure could be revived this week

By: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate could be on track to advance a bill as soon as Tuesday that would provide veterans exposed to toxic substances overseas with health care and benefits, after a weekend in which outraged veterans camped out on the steps of the Capitol to protest a delay in the legislation.  A Senate […]

Monkeypox has been detected in almost every state. (Photo Courtesy of CDC/Getty Images)

Congress mostly silent as states struggle to contain monkeypox

By: - July 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — Two months after doctors diagnosed the first case of monkeypox in the United States, Congress has yet to hold a hearing, or give any significant attention to the painful and debilitating virus that’s spread to more than 4,600 people.  Public health officials in the Biden administration have held several briefings, expanded testing capacity […]

Jon Stewart, celebrity comedian and longtime advocate for veterans, urged members of Congress to stay in Washington, D.C. until a bill that would expand health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits during their deployments is on its way to President Joe Biden. Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom

‘These people don’t care’: U.S. Senate GOP stalls bill for veterans exposed to burn pit

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Veterans and their advocates gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday for what was supposed to be a celebration, one day after a crucial Senate vote on bipartisan legislation that would expand health care and benefits to 3.5 million veterans exposed to burn pits during their deployments.  The gathering instead became a forum […]

Members of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division Division returning to Ft. Campbell after a deployment to the Middle East. (Photo: U.S. Army Ft. Campbell)

U.S. Senate fails to advance burn pits bill for veterans in dispute over spending

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate came up short Wednesday in trying to move ahead on legislation that would provide health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits overseas. The bill, from Montana Democratic Sen. John Tester and Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, has been bogged down for nearly two months as U.S. lawmakers […]

U.S. House debate on a contraception access bill Thursday fell along party lines, with Democrats arguing it’s necessary to ensure Americans won’t lose another constitutional right at the hands of conservative Supreme Court justices. (Photo: Getty Images)

U.S. House passes bill guaranteeing contraception access, with eight GOP votes

By: - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted mostly along party lines Thursday to send the Senate legislation that would guarantee people the right to use contraception without government interference.  The legislation from North Carolina Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning, approved 228-195, is part of the Democrats’ response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the constitutional […]

The White House confirmed Thursday that President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19.(Drew Angerer/Getty Image)

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]

Nashville's Mario Oranday and Andrew Baumgarten, recently engaged, fear same-sex marriage will be the next right to fall following the U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade. (Photo: John Partipilo)

U.S. House on bipartisan vote passes bill protecting right to same-sex marriage

By: - July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House voted Tuesday to enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law, though the bill’s path forward in the Senate is unclear.  The 267-157 bipartisan vote stemmed from concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the constitutional right to […]

Members of Congress participating in a Tuesday abortion rights protest between Capitol Hill and the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo: Jennifer Shutt)

Members of Congress arrested after protest for abortion rights in front of Supreme Court

By: - July 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen members of Congress were arrested Tuesday alongside abortion rights activists after they sat down and blocked an intersection between the U.S. Capitol building and the Supreme Court to protest conservative justices’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.  The act of civil disobedience came as backers of abortion rights urge […]

An abortion rally in downtown Nashville took protesters on a route to the state Capitol and the federal courthouse. Photo: John Partipilo

As abortion crisis engulfs red states, advocates press White House for a bolder plan

By: - July 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Frustrated abortion rights advocates are imploring President Joe Biden to make sweeping moves to protect abortion access, saying now is the time for Democrats to be bold as Republican-led states rapidly implement restrictions and outright bans.  Stymied in the U.S. Senate by the filibuster, congressional Democrats are highly unlikely to approve legislation that […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order that could preserve access to abortion in some states. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Biden unveils executive order on abortion access, cites case of 10-year-old Ohio rape survivor

By: - July 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly been criticized as slow to respond to a widely expected U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended the nationwide right to an abortion, signed an executive order Friday that could preserve some access to abortion in states where the procedure remains legal.  Biden in a White House speech […]