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.

Biden wants all states to require masks, something Georgia resists

By: - November 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus response plan seeks to put a national mask mandate in place by calling on all governors to require face coverings in their states. It’s a move that public health experts say could dramatically reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. But putting wider mask laws in place would […]

Supreme Court could end Obamacare, Georgia’s new health care plan

By: - November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—The fate of the sweeping 2010 health care law known as Obamacare is again in limbo, with the Supreme Court on Tuesday set to hear arguments over whether that statute should be overturned. Georgia and other states are at the heart of the case and nearly every one has made an argument about why Obamacare […]

AP declares Joe Biden is the next president

By: - November 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden’s native state of Pennsylvania on Saturday secured his victory to become the next president of the United States when The Associated Press reported he had gained enough votes there to win the electoral college. The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m., which gave the former vice president 284 […]

Georgia, other battlegrounds count ballots as Biden nears presidency

By: - November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two days after Election Day, the nation waited for vote-counting to finish in Georgia and several other critical states, where the tallying of mail ballots has left Democrat Joe Biden just short of the votes needed to become the next president. Thursday’s updated totals could push Biden beyond the 270 electoral votes needed […]

The fight for the presidency down to millions of uncounted mail ballots

By: - November 4, 2020

This story was updated 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4 to add latest vote numbers. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory early Wednesday morning, but the outcome of a razor-thin presidential contest actually depends on key battleground states that are trying to finish tallying millions of remaining mail ballots. Here are some questions—and answers—about what’s […]

Loeffler, Warnock in runoff as Democrats struggle for U.S. Senate

By: and - November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats gained at least one seat against Republicans in the U.S. Senate, but also lost one of their own and were unable to defeat several GOP incumbents in the elections, ending up early Wednesday with an increasingly challenging path to wresting control of the chamber away from Republicans. In Georgia, Republican U.S. Sen. […]

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 […]