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.

U.S. Senate bills would ban fake electors, clear up Electoral College procedures

By: - July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators released legislation Wednesday that aims to clarify the 1887 law that governs how Congress counts Electoral College votes following a presidential election. The legislation caps off months of negotiations between Republican and Democratic senators, who hope to remove the vagueness from the Electoral Count Act that led […]

U.S. House on bipartisan vote passes bill protecting right to same-sex marriage

By: - July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House voted Tuesday to enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriages in federal law, though the bill’s path forward in the Senate is unclear. The 267-157 bipartisan vote stemmed from concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the constitutional right to an […]

Members of Congress arrested after protest for abortion rights in front of Supreme Court

By: - July 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen members of Congress were arrested Tuesday alongside abortion rights activists after they sat down and blocked an intersection between the U.S. Capitol building and the Supreme Court to protest conservative justices’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The act of civil disobedience came as backers of abortion rights urge more […]

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

By: - July 14, 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 […]

Same-sex marriage and contraception at risk after abortion ruling, U.S. House panel told

By: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Advocates told Congress on Thursday that a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a landmark abortion rights case is likely only the beginning, and could be followed by similar action by the high court on same-sex marriage, contraception and more. Witnesses at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee advised that to prevent that from happening, […]

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, […]

U.S. Senate panel wrestles with questions about abortions needed to save a patient’s life

By: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. Senate panel that oversees health care sharply disagreed Wednesday over how Congress should respond to confusion among doctors about compliance with state abortion bans. State abortion restrictions, some of which were written long ago and don’t account for complicated medical situations, don’t make it clear when a […]

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

By: - July 12, 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 11, 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 Emergency Medical […]

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

By: - July 8, 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 […]

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

By: - July 6, 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 Sen. Joe […]

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

By: - June 24, 2022

This story was updated at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 24.  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 […]