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.

VA eyes major changes in health care system as veterans flock to the South, Southwest

By: - March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday began the years-long process of restructuring its nationwide health care network, an endeavor that will require the president and Congress to sign off before it could begin. The restructuring would mean the closures or consolidations of some medical facilities, likely provoking opposition from communities and […]

Ron Wyden Jeff Merkley

Return of earmarks a boon for members of Congress facing midterm battles

By: and - March 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vulnerable lawmakers from throughout the country are set to rake in federal cash for home-state projects after a major spending bill included the first round of earmarks in more than a decade. Members from both political parties began requesting thousands of projects last year when U.S. House and Senate leaders resurrected what’s called […]

Biden declares U.S. ban on Russian oil, warns of gasoline price spikes

By: and - March 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States will no longer import Russian energy in an attempt to further cripple that nation’s economy as it wages war against Ukraine.  President Joe Biden announced the newest sanctions Tuesday from the White House, saying that a ban on Russian oil and gas would target “the main artery of Russia’s economy.” […]

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

U.S. government shutdown days away as Congress struggles on Ukraine aid, COVID-19 relief

By: - March 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — With just five days left before government funding expires, Democrats and Republicans are trying to reach agreement on $1.5 trillion in federal spending as well as billions more in assistance to Ukraine and COVID-19 relief. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday afternoon that both political parties were “very close” to reaching […]

Biden in State of the Union urges ‘unmistakable’ support for democracy in Ukraine

By: and - March 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night to reassert America as a leading global voice for democracy and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine.  “Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for […]

Billions in U.S. aid for Ukraine eyed in struggle against Russian invasion

By: - March 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress is working quickly to determine how much military and humanitarian aid it should send to Ukraine as the war in that country continues to claim lives and send hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing as refugees.  Lawmakers are working with the Biden administration to provide billions in funding at the same time […]

UKRAINE: Biden sanctions Russian natural gas pipeline company Nord Stream 2

By: - February 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday sanctioned the Russian company tasked with building and operating the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, as well as its corporate officers. Biden said in a statement the sanctions are part of the “initial tranche” of economic restrictions the United States began imposing on Russia earlier this week after it […]

Biden to impose sanctions on pro-Russian separatist region of Ukraine

By: - February 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden issued an executive order Monday imposing sanctions on the two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared independent earlier in the day. The order bars new investment, trading and finance in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki […]

Children running on sidewalk

CDC to update federal masking guidance in coming weeks

By: - February 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — The federal government will likely update its guidance on masking and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the coming weeks as the omicron surge continues to wane, U.S. public health officials indicated Wednesday.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing that the agency will continue looking […]

Schumer, Booker, Wyden ask U.S. Senate colleagues for help on marijuana reform

By: - February 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — A small but influential group of Democratic senators is asking their colleagues for input on how best to overhaul the federal government’s cannabis laws. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and New Jersey’s Cory Booker released a letter Thursday asking senators whose states have legalized marijuana and those who sit […]

House advances marijuana banking bill, though final passage uncertain

By: - February 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Cannabis dispensaries throughout the country came one step closer to using banks the way many other businesses can when the U.S. House on Friday cleared a bill with sweeping changes to banking regulations.  Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter and Ohio Republican Dave Joyce, co-sponsors of the legislation, said Friday their proposal would allow medical […]

Governors attempt to bridge deep political divides in big D.C. meeting

By: , and - February 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — Governors of both parties from throughout the United States met here over the weekend to try to speak on a unified front about what their states need from the federal government. But the waters were muddied by governors’ clearly divided political views about two major issues of the moment — voting laws and […]