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 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 […]

Access to abortion for members of the military expanded in Pentagon spending bill

By: - June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are pushing to increase access to abortion for members of the military, concerned a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could end the constitutional right will harm troops. The U.S. House’s annual funding bill for the Defense Department would require the Pentagon to provide leave to troops and civilian employees seeking […]

Biden pitches a summer gas tax holiday as price hovers around $5 a gallon

By: - June 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress and state legislatures to provide a temporary reprieve from gas taxes — but members of his own party and Republicans appeared opposed, making it look unlikely on the federal level. In addition, many state legislatures are out of session for the year and aren’t expected […]

In a first, 2 rooms in U.S. Capitol named for women who served in the Senate

By: - June 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The first woman joined Congress more than a century ago, but not until this month have any of the 540 rooms in the U.S. Capitol been officially named for women who served in the U.S. Senate. Following a dedication ceremony last week, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, the first woman elected to both chambers, and Barbara […]

U.S. Senate passes landmark legislation to aid veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange

By: - June 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. soldiers deployed to bases in Afghanistan and Iraq often lived and worked alongside large pits where batteries, plastics, rubber, chemicals and other garbage would be lit on fire with jet fuel. The legacy of those burn pits followed thousands of military members back to the United States, where they have suffered from […]

FDA outside advisers recommend Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines for kids under 5

By: - June 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Parents of children under 5 are one step closer to vaccinating their young kids against COVID-19 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s outside vaccine panel recommended emergency use authorizations of two COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday. The 21-person Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend the FDA approve emergency use […]

Will it be ‘every state for themselves’ as the federal COVID cash dries up?

By: - June 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — State and local health departments remain in limbo over whether they’ll need to single-handedly fund their own COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as a stalemate in Congress drags into its fourth month. The Biden administration has raised alarm bells about the risk of inaction after sending Congress a request for $22.5 billion in early […]