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 Virginia Mercury. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Feds boost state vaccine shipments to 11 million doses next week

By: - February 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — States will see another increase in the COVID-19 vaccine doses they receive, with President Joe Biden’s administration announcing Tuesday that the federal government will distribute 11 million doses next week. That’s an increase from 10.5 million doses this week, and 8.6 million during the week President Joe Biden took office last month. Those […]

Dems protest Georgia congresswoman’s selection to education panel after she cast doubt on school shootings

By: - January 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are denouncing GOP leaders for tapping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to serve on the Education and Labor Committee, amid a growing outcry over the Georgia Republican’s past comments challenging the veracity of deadly school shootings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “appalling” that Republicans selected someone who “has mocked the killing […]

Kaine floats censure alternative as Senate prepares for second Trump impeachment trial

By: - January 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine says he’s been talking privately with his Senate colleagues about censuring former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, told Capitol Hill reporters on Wednesday that he views censure as a possible “alternative” to Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial […]

Biden administration unveils boost to state COVID-19 vaccine shipments

By: - January 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Amid frustrations at the slow pace of the national COVID-19 vaccination effort, President Joe Biden says his administration is boosting the number of doses sent to states each week and will be giving state officials more certainty on the number of doses they can expect in future shipments. Starting next week, a minimum of […]

Biden orders tougher mask rules as part of COVID-19 strategy overhaul

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s first policy focus after being sworn in? Overhauling the disjointed federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed another 4,400 American lives on his first day in office alone. “The brutal truth is, it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated,” Biden said Thursday. […]

President Biden urges a divided nation to ‘end this uncivil war’ in inaugural address

By: and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Calling on Americans to bridge the widening divisions in the country, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, completing the transition of presidential power on the same stage where a violent mob just two weeks ago sought to prevent him from taking office. Standing before an unusually small […]

Biden takes the oath of office with troops on guard and towering challenges ahead

By: and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States at noon, when he will take the oath of office while standing on the same platform where insurrectionists swarmed just two weeks ago as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. That violent mob of rioters damaged the […]

Biden pledges massive vaccine surge as states struggle with confusion over dosage numbers

By: - January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Friday sketched out his proposal for overhauling the country’s slow and uneven effort to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19, pledging to open more centers for administering those shots, boost the public health workforce, and improve the information flow to states so they can better plan. Biden has called for administering 100 […]

Biden rolls out $1.9 trillion emergency package to battle pandemic and economic crises

By: - January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is calling on Congress to approve a sweeping package for economic and pandemic relief with a price tag twice that of the emergency aid passed in December after months of acrimonious negotiations. Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal, which he outlined in a speech Thursday evening, is framed around boosting funding in […]

U.S. House votes to again impeach Trump, as a ‘clear and present danger’

By: and - January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with inciting violent rioters last week who rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, temporarily derailing the tally of presidential votes and leading to at least five deaths. The 232-197 vote concluded a swift, truncated process in the House, with Democrats […]

Feds tell states to give COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 65 and older in bid to speed rollout

By: - January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Tuesday directed state officials to expand who is getting vaccinated for COVID-19, and announced that all available doses will be distributed to states instead of holding back a reserve of follow-up doses. Under the policy changes outlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, states should begin vaccinating […]

Virginia representatives sign on to second Trump impeachment measure

By: - January 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — At least 214 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives — including all seven Virginia Democrats —  have signed on to a measure to impeach President Donald Trump that was introduced Monday, charging him with inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. Supporters of the impeachment effort say they would have […]