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.

‘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 […]

Montana’s Jon Tester backs filibuster changes, means testing for Biden spending plan

By: - January 5, 2022

Despite his role at the center of passing the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in 2021, U.S. Sen Jon Tester said Wednesday the Senate should change its filibuster rules to break what he called “real paralysis.” The Montana Democrat also said in an interview with States Newsroom that watching how the infrastructure money is spent […]

Some Democrats push to rescue climate plan in Biden spending package

By: - January 4, 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 3, 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 […]

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

By: - December 22, 2021

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 20, 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 […]

Infrastructure law fixes Amtrak funding woes, House panel hears

By: - December 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The leader of Amtrak told a U.S. House panel Thursday that the recently enacted infrastructure law made great strides to solving the passenger rail system’s financial woes and placed it on equal footing with other modes of transportation. Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s rail subcommittee and Amtrak Executive Director Stephen […]

U.S. House progressives file resolution yanking Boebert committee assignments

By: and - December 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House progressives are pushing to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert of her committee assignments after the Colorado Republican suggested Minnesota’s Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of only three Muslims in Congress, was a terrorist.  Rep. Ayanna Pressley, (D-Mass.), introduced a resolution Wednesday to remove Boebert from the Natural Resources Committee and Budget Committee for […]

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

By: - December 2, 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 […]

Interior Department calls for oil and gas leasing updates, but not ending production

By: - November 26, 2021

The U.S. Interior Department recommended increased fees for oil and gas exploration on federal lands as part of a long-awaited report released Friday that environmental groups said didn’t go far enough in limiting fossil fuels and Republicans derided as an attack on domestic producers. The report, ordered by President Joe Biden during his first week […]

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

By: - November 24, 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 […]