Author

Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer Shutt

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.

Federal law that protects emergency life-saving abortions challenged in Texas suit

By: - July 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Thursday, arguing that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who perform abortions to save the patient’s life.   “This administration has a hard time following the law, and now they are trying to have their appointed […]

U.S. House passes bill expanding health care, benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits

By: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill Wednesday to expand health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits overseas, sending the package back to the U.S. Senate after making a minor change.  Senators, who broadly support the landmark package led by Montana Sen. Jon Tester and Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, […]

Members of U.S. Senate panel fight over effects of abortion ruling on Black patients

By: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began wading through the dozens of state laws that have taken effect in the two weeks since the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, and heard from witnesses who said the effect on Black patients will be especially harsh.  “People of color, specifically […]

State bans on abortion don’t apply to emergency health care, White House reminds providers

By: - July 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration reminded doctors and other health care providers Monday that a federal law protects them if they provide abortion services to save a patient’s life or health in emergency situations — regardless of what state laws say.  U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote in a letter that the […]

As abortion crisis engulfs red states, advocates press White House for a bolder plan

By: - July 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Frustrated abortion rights advocates are imploring President Joe Biden to make sweeping moves to protect abortion access, saying now is the time for Democrats to be bold as Republican-led states rapidly implement restrictions and outright bans.  Stymied in the U.S. Senate by the filibuster, congressional Democrats are highly unlikely to approve legislation that […]

Biden unveils executive order on abortion access, cites case of 10-year-old Ohio rape survivor

By: - July 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly been criticized as slow to respond to a widely expected U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended the nationwide right to an abortion, signed an executive order Friday that could preserve some access to abortion in states where the procedure remains legal.  Biden in a White House speech […]

Medicare prescription drug negotiation plan advanced by U.S. Senate Democrats

By: - July 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats have reached a tentative agreement to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs in the Medicare program, the first step in passing a long-stalled package that’s expected to include tax and climate change provisions as well. The deal, brokered between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin […]

U.S. Supreme Court overturns right to abortion in landmark decision

By: - June 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right. The decision by five of the Court’s nine justices will allow each state to set its own abortion laws, leading to a patchwork of access throughout the country. The result is expected to be an […]

Access to abortion for members of the military expanded in Pentagon spending bill

By: - June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are pushing to increase access to abortion for members of the military, concerned a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could end the constitutional right will harm troops.  The U.S. House’s annual funding bill for the Defense Department would require the Pentagon to provide leave to troops and civilian employees seeking […]

Biden pitches a summer gas tax holiday as price hovers around $5 a gallon

By: - June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress and state legislatures to provide a temporary reprieve from gas taxes — but members of his own party and Republicans appeared opposed, making it look unlikely on the federal level. In addition, many state legislatures are out of session for the year and aren’t expected […]

Will it be Maryland or Virginia? Feds near a verdict on new FBI headquarters

By: - June 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — Maryland and Virginia politicians vying for the prize of a new FBI headquarters have just a few months left before a crucial federal government decision. The U.S. General Services Administration is expected to pick the best of three locations as soon as September, ending nearly two decades of advocacy, confusion and frustration across […]

In a first, 2 rooms in U.S. Capitol named for women who served in the Senate

By: - June 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The first woman joined Congress more than a century ago, but not until this month have any of the 540 rooms in the U.S. Capitol been officially named for women who served in the U.S. Senate.  Following a dedication ceremony last week, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, the first woman elected to both […]