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 Tennessee Lookout. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Right-wing protesters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for President Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. (Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/Arizona Mirror)

Battleground states count mail ballots, with Biden just shy of votes to clinch presidency

By: - November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two days after Election Day, the nation waited for vote-counting to finish in several critical states, where the tallying of mail ballots has left Democrat Joe Biden just short of the votes needed to become the next president. Thursday’s updated totals could push Biden beyond the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory […]

Marquita Bradshaw in Memphis on September 9, 2020. She is the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in what she calls a "Marquita versus Goliath" race against the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate, Bill Hagerty. The Memphis activist is also the only Black woman running for Senate in the entire country this cycle. (Photo: © Karen Pulfer Focht)

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House,  capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House—an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through flipping GOP-held […]

Marsha Blackburn waves her finger.

Just another working mom: Blackburn leads the fan club for Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination

By: - October 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, one of two Republican women on the Senate Judiciary Committee, used her time at the end of Tuesday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing to blast liberal critics for what she described as unfair treatment of female conservative nominees like Amy Coney Barrett. Blackburn, who has been a staunch defender of […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) holds a mask to her face as she arrives for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation" on Capitol Hill on August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Crossfire Hurricane was an FBI counterintelligence investigation relating to contacts between Russian officials and associates of Donald Trump. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

Supreme Court confirmation hearings plowing 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 […]

U.S. President Donald Trump flouts the Hatch Act and delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House Aug. 27, 2020. Trump gave the speech in front of 1500 invited guests. Photo by Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Trump returns to the White House, still infected with coronavirus

By: - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Monday night departed Walter Reed National Military Hospital, where he had been treated for COVID-19, and arrived at the White House via the Marine One helicopter a short time later. According to the press pool, Trump emerged from Walter Reed and briefly stopped at the top of the hospital steps before […]