Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

A vial of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Supreme Court appears wary of Biden vaccine-or-test employer mandate

By: - January 7, 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 […]

A mob of pro-Trump supporters attack the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2020

‘We thought that we would die’: Lawmakers probe painful Jan. 6 memories

By: - January 6, 2022

Democrats in Congress marked the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday recounting the terror they experienced first-hand — and argued that it gives them even more reason to pursue voting rights legislation. They remembered the desperate scramble to hang on to the boxes that held the presidential vote tally, the rush […]

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 […]

Medical marijuana prices soar in Louisiana due to regulatory bottleneck

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

By: - January 3, 2022

 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 22, 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 21, 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 […]

U.S. House Dems pass anti-Islamophobia bill, condemn Boebert remarks

By: - December 15, 2021

 The U.S. House following a vitriolic debate passed a bill along party lines Tuesday night to create a State Department office that would counter Islamophobia worldwide. Democrats said a conflict much closer to home showed the need to confront anti-Muslim bigotry. The bill sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.), picked up momentum after Colorado Republican […]

Gas pollution rises from the Valero Oil refinery in Meraux

Biden’s oil and gas policy falls short on climate goals, House Democrats say

By: - December 6, 2021

 Democrats on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday encouraged President Joe Biden to take stronger action to limit oil and gas production, while Republicans said reducing domestic production would only increase global emissions from overseas suppliers.  In a hearing less than a week after the U.S. Interior Department released a report that called […]

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 […]

Gas pollution rises from the Valero Oil refinery in Meraux

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

By: - November 23, 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 of […]

U.S. Capito

Senate confirms first tribal member in history to lead National Park Service

By: - November 22, 2021

The U.S. Senate approved by voice vote late Thursday the nomination of Charles F. Sams III as the first confirmed National Park Service director since 2017. Sams, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Ore., will be the first tribal member to lead the Park Service in the […]