Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura Olson covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Vaccine mandate for health care workers halted nationwide by Louisiana judge

By: and - November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday issued a ruling blocking nationwide the Biden administration mandate requiring millions of health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. A suit challenging the mandate was led on behalf of multiple states by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, and U.S. Judge Terry Doughty granted the states’ request […]

Federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states blocked by judge

By: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the states involved in the lawsuit, which include Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and New Hampshire. The […]

New COVID omicron variant ‘not a cause for panic,’ Biden says

By: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden sought to reassure Americans on Monday about the latest COVID-19 variant, describing it as “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Biden did not announce any new travel restrictions or other federal actions during his brief remarks from the White House.  Instead, he urged Americans to get a booster […]

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

By: and - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill.  But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better […]

Federal health officials open up access to COVID-19 booster shots to all U.S. adults

By: - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Friday moved to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults, in an effort to bolster protection against infections as case counts rise again across the United States. Officials with the Food and Drug Administration on Friday morning authorized booster shots for anyone over age 18 who […]

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

By: , and - November 19, 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, […]

States forge ahead with COVID-19 booster shots for all adults

By: - November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are expected as soon as Friday to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults.  But some states aren’t waiting for a green light from D.C. At least six states already have opened up eligibility for the boosters from Pfizer and Moderna beyond the categories specified by federal […]

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion […]

Federal vaccine rule for private businesses to kick in on Jan. 4

By: - November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Many private employers beginning in January will have to ensure their workers either are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they will undergo weekly testing and wear a face covering, under a new federal rule announced Thursday by the White House. The policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to […]

Shipments of COVID-19 shots for kids 5-11 on the way to states after FDA gives green light

By: - November 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country.  Vials of the two-shot vaccine will be headed to pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers, so […]

What’s in—and out—of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

FDA panel recommends OK for Pfizer’s vaccine for kids 5 to 11

By: - October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal vaccine advisory panel on Tuesday recommended authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a decision that means as soon as next week everyone in the U.S. over age 5 is expected to be eligible for a shot. The vote by the Food & Drug Administration panel, with 17 […]