DC BUREAU

Our Washington, D.C., bureau reports on congressional delegations and key Supreme Court and administrative decisions that affect our state.

STAFF

Jane Norman

DC Bureau Chief

Jane directs national coverage, managing staff and freelance reporters in the nation’s capital and assigning and editing state-specific daily and enterprise stories.

Jennifer Shutt

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

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.

Jacob Fischler

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

Ariana Figueroa

DC Bureau Reporter

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

STORIES

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ (Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

BY: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice […]

Nashville's Mario Oranday and Andrew Baumgarten, shared fears the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case establishing marriage equality. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Marriage equality bill heads to Biden’s desk following bipartisan U.S. House vote

BY: - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill Thursday that would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue holding many of the rights they have now, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the cases that established those constitutional protections.   The measure now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to […]

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

Future of U.S. election law at stake as Supreme Court hears North Carolina case

BY: and - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — North Carolina Republicans appeared to have at least three of the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices on their side Wednesday in a case that could determine the future of elections nationwide, and leave decisions about federal elections in the hands of state legislatures and beyond the reach of state courts.  The Supreme Court […]

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn led a push to eliminate a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the military. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Congress on track to scrap Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in defense bill

BY: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. military would no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a proposal Congress could pass as soon as this week.  The provision eliminating the vaccine mandate is tucked into the massive National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that Congress has passed each year for […]

Protesters in front of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexanders offices on West End in 2017. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Talks over protecting Dreamers pick up in Congress, but agreement still elusive

BY: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — In a last-minute push, U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan agreement to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children. But the success of any major immigration deal appears unlikely, as a lame-duck session of Congress dwindles into its last days. Democrats are […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 25: Student loan borrowers stage a rally in front of The White House to celebrate President Biden cancelling student debt and to begin the fight to cancel any remaining debt on August 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)

U.S. Supreme Court to review Biden student debt relief plan in February

BY: - December 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will hear oral arguments in February over a legal challenge by six Republican-led states to the Biden administration student borrower relief plan. Until the arguments are heard and the court issues a ruling, the $400 billion Biden plan is on hold due to a nationwide injunction […]

New Hampshire DNC Committee Member Joanne Dowell is pictured center right. She and Iowa’s committee member cast the lone votes opposing giving South Carolina the first primary. (Courtesy of Jim Demers)

Democrats strip Iowa of first-in-the-nation prize, tap South Carolina for first primary

BY: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Voters in South Carolina would go first in picking Democratic presidential nominees, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan if their states go along with a proposal a key Democratic National Committee panel approved Friday.  The Rules and Bylaws Committee’s nearly unanimous voice vote proposes moving the Democratic primary’s earliest election date […]

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at Simpson College in Indianola Oct. 20, 2019, while campaigning for the 2020 Iowa Caucuses. (Photo by Robert Leonard)

Report: Biden says South Carolina should be first primary state, Michigan first in Midwest

BY: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is recommending to the Democratic National Committee that South Carolina become the first primary state in the presidential nominating process in 2024, and that New Hampshire and Nevada follow a week later — leaving Iowa out of the early lineup, the Washington Post reported on Thursday night. Georgia and Michigan […]

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont at the U.S. Capitol going into lunch with Senate Democrats prior to a vote on an agreement to end a looming rail strike on Dec. 1, 2022. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

U.S. Senate averts freight rail strike, but bid to include worker sick leave fails

BY: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to codify an agreement the White House brokered between rail unions and freight companies in order to avoid a catastrophic rail strike, but fell short of enough votes to include paid sick leave for workers. The Senate backed the rail deal on an 80-15 vote and rejected […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

U.S. House GOP to keep earmarks for local projects — with some ‘tweaks’

BY: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans voted Wednesday to keep earmarks in place when they take over the chamber in January, a move that solidifies GOP support for the controversial spending practice that was brought back under new guardrails and transparency mechanisms less than two years ago.  Earmarking has become especially important to members of both […]

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation.

U.S. House votes to avert calamitous rail strike, but Senate prospects murky

BY: - November 30, 2022

The U.S. House moved Wednesday to avoid an economically disastrous nationwide rail strike, voting to codify an agreement that members of some unions had already rejected and separately add paid sick leave that workers had demanded. The two-track approach allows Democrats to avert a strike that could cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion […]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) (C) gets a congratulatory fist-bump as he walks into the U.S. Capitol after he was elected House Democratic leader for the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jeffries was elected to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leader of the Democrats in the chamber next year, making him the first Black person to lead one of the two major parties in either chamber of Congress. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. House Democrats make history electing first Black party leader in Congress

BY: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — The three U.S. House Democrats who have led their party through four presidencies and thousands of floor votes formally passed the torch to the next generation Wednesday, when the party gathered behind closed doors to elect its top leaders for the 118th Congress.  House Democrats named Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, as their […]