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.

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

By: - September 30, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to -control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states […]

U.S. Senate OKs $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure bill

By: - August 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed 69-30  a sweeping bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, a milestone for one of President Joe Biden’s priorities after months of negotiation. Biden proposed an infrastructure plan in March that would have topped $2 trillion. A bipartisan group of senators led by Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), and Kyrsten Sinema, (D-Ariz.), worked […]

Colonial Parkway would get a boost under Biden budget request

By: - June 7, 2021

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer. The projects likely wouldn’t be visible to the usual tourist, but they are […]

Heading for a national park? It’s going to be the ‘biggest season in the history of the Park Service,’ some senators say

By: - May 27, 2021

Leaders of a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday extolled national parks for providing a respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned that enthusiasm for outdoors recreation will create its own problems in this summer’s tourism wave. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent and the chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the U.S. National Park Service, […]

Congressional panel splits on regulation of ‘orphaned’ oil and gas wells

By: - April 16, 2021

Members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed Thursday on the need to clean up and cap thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, including some in Virginia, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation. The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing was held to […]

‘A once in a generation investment’: Biden unveils $2T infrastructure package; creating millions of jobs

By: and - March 31, 2021

Unveiling what he called the boldest domestic spending package since the construction of America’s interstate highway system and the dawning of the space race, President Joe Biden released broad details of a $2 trillion infrastructure package that would rebuild highways and bridges, along with providing funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. […]

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By: - March 9, 2021

The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918 law that allows the government to prosecute polluters whose actions are responsible for the deaths of about 1,100 protected bird […]

‘I just don’t trust the system any more’: Voters on edge as election nears

By: and - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON— Widespread anxiety and confusion around voting, compounded by the pandemic that has spread to millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump. A vastly underfunded and decentralized electoral system that could take days and possibly weeks to certify results.  Attempts to suppress voting, interfere with elections and cast doubt on the integrity of mail-in ballots […]

‘You just have to act’: Thousands outraged by police brutality rally at March on Washington

By: and - August 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – On the 57th anniversary of the original March on Washington and in the throes of a pandemic, thousands of demonstrators on Friday joined Democratic lawmakers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to demand Congress act on police brutality and voter suppression. The event, organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, […]

Will Virginia sign on to Trump’s plan to boost unemployment benefits by $400?

By: - August 10, 2020

[UPDATE: Virginia applying to participate in Trump’s unemployment supplement] Governors, lawmakers and state unemployment agencies on Monday wrestled with confusion created by President Donald Trump’s executive action extending unemployment benefits, and it appeared some states could settle for $300 a week in benefits instead of the $400 that the president touted. State leaders from both […]

Trump moves to extend unemployment benefits, suspend payroll taxes after talks break down

By: and - August 8, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday circumvented Congress and took action on his own after weeks of unsuccessful negotiations over another coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill. He signed three presidential memoranda and an executive order, at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Trump would provide $300 per week in federal unemployment assistance with another […]

Bipartisan bill with big money for Virginia, other national parks, heads to president’s desk

By: and - July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]