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.

Federal pipeline standards backed by top energy regulator after Colonial Pipeline hack

By: - January 20, 2022

New federal powers are needed to prevent major energy disruptions like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that left the East Coast short of gas at the pumps for days, the chairman of the federal commission overseeing energy and some U.S. House Democrats said Wednesday. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed a proposal by […]

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

By: - January 15, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. He specifically mentioned the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington […]

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

By: - January 13, 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 […]

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 […]

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 for […]

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

By: - December 24, 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 20, 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 […]

Infrastructure law fixes Amtrak funding woes, House panel hears

By: - December 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The leader of Amtrak told a U.S. House panel Thursday that the recently enacted infrastructure law made great strides to solving the passenger rail system’s financial woes and placed it on equal footing with other modes of transportation. Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s rail subcommittee and Amtrak Executive Director Stephen Gardner said […]

Biden opens oil reserve to relieve high gas prices — but it won’t be immediate

By: - November 24, 2021

As gasoline prices spiral ahead of the big holiday travel season, President Joe Biden authorized the release of a record 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Tuesday — complicating his administration’s goal to transition to cleaner energy sources. In prepared remarks, Biden said he coordinated the release from the reserve, a complex […]

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

By: , and - November 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate. Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, health care, taxes […]