Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Georgia Recorder. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

U.S. Justice Department sending staff to monitor polls in Gwinnett, Fulton

By: - November 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Justice will have staffers on the ground in  Fulton and Gwinnett and 42 other counties and cities across 17 states on Election Day, monitoring for violations of federal voting-rights laws—fewer states than in 2016. The localities this year are in battlegrounds like Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin and […]

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House, capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House—an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through flipping GOP-held […]

Trump in final debate slams pandemic aid as a ‘big bailout’ for blue states

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Asked during Thursday’s final presidential debate about why another round of economic relief hasn’t been approved to aid unemployed Americans and struggling local governments, President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, pointed fingers at opposite ends of the U.S. Capitol. Trump blamed House Democrats for the stalemate over another coronavirus stimulus […]

Barrett nomination advances to the U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON—Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will vote Monday, […]

States struggle to draft COVID-19 vaccine plans without details, funding

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Across the many pages of plans that state officials sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on distributing and tracking the yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are more questions so far than answers on how exactly vaccine programs will be carried out. Yet states will be on the front lines for a […]

Supreme Court nominee Barrett: No one has asked me to rule against ACA

By: - October 14, 2020

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday whether she has made any promises to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as he sought to counter arguments from Democratic senators that she would unravel the landmark health care law. Barrett told the Iowa Republican that no one in the […]

Supreme Court confirmation hearings advance despite COVID-19 infections

By: - October 12, 2020

Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee beginning Monday for what’s expected to be an unusual and contentious four days of hearings on her nomination for the Supreme Court. Democrats sought unsuccessfully to block those hearings, raising concerns about the short time frame before Election Day, the urgent need to […]

Trump returns to the White House, still infected with coronavirus

By: - October 5, 2020

Updated 7 a.m. Tuesday WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Monday night departed Walter Reed National Military Hospital, where he had been treated for COVID-19, and arrived at the White House via the Marine One helicopter a short time later. According to the press pool, Trump emerged from Walter Reed and briefly stopped at the top of […]

Trump to stay ‘the next few days’ at military hospital for treatment

By: - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump was on his way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland early Friday evening, where White House officials said he is expected to stay for “the next few days” for treatment of COVID-19. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Trump, who disclosed his diagnosis earlier Friday, as having […]

Could COVID-19 delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

By: - October 2, 2020

One of the few obstacles that could prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this year is the coronavirus. That potential threat was on display Friday, when news of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was followed by a similar announcement from U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who […]

Biden says he’ll accept election results; Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’

By: - September 30, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general election ballots. Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from debate moderator and Fox News anchor […]

Trump and Biden spar over mask rules in first presidential debate

By: - September 30, 2020

The two men vying to become the next president offered a stark contrast to voters on face mask requirements and on how soon state economies should reopen amid the pandemic, just two of many areas where they squabbled during Tuesday’s contentious and often chaotic first debate. The exchange between President Donald Trump and former Vice […]