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.

Senate GOP filibuster blocks panel to probe Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack

By: - May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked consideration of a bill creating a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Legislation to form an investigatory panel into that attack passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, with 35 House Republicans joining Democrats in […]

Floyd family presses Biden on police reform; Atlanta marchers pay respect

By: and - May 26, 2021

One year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, protesters took to the streets of Atlanta and Floyd’s family traveled to Washington D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws.  Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death Tuesday — the deadline […]

Biden allots $1B to prepare disaster response ahead of hurricane season

By: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is doubling the amount of federal funding to help states prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, he announced Monday. His administration is directing $1 billion to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which sends resources to communities, states, and tribal governments to prepare for extreme weather events. […]

Electric buses, Beltline and bridges: Quest for fed’s transportation cash

By: and - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

CDC: You can ditch the mask when indoors if fully vaccinated

By: - May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask in most situations, indoors and outdoors, federal health officials said in an updated set of recommendations Thursday that marks a major turning point in the pandemic. The announcement is a shift from earlier federal guidance, which had urged people who are vaccinated to continue […]

More than $350B in federal cash starts rolling out to states, local level

By: - May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced this week. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted […]

CDC advisory panel signs off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel is recommending that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be administered to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, making it the first shot available to those under 16. The green light granted Wednesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is expected to be affirmed swiftly by […]

CDC panel set to act on plan green-lighting Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15

By: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed off on expanding the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15, clearing one key hurdle before that age group can begin receiving the two-shot vaccine. But another step is needed before tweens and teens can line up for shots. The […]

Hearing airs wrenching stories of Black maternal suffering, mortality

By: - May 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor […]

States with higher vaccine demand will be able to request more from feds

By: - May 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — With demand for COVID-19 vaccines dropping in many states, the federal government is changing how those doses are allocated. Under the new policy, any doses that a state doesn’t request from its weekly, population-based allotment will be held in a general pool, and states with higher demand can request additional shots from that surplus. […]

Ga. House members could be on hot seat in Congressional redistricting

By: and - May 4, 2021

Georgia is likely one of the states Republicans will be banking on to win back the U.S. House in 2022, according to an initial analysis of U.S. Census data released last week, and this year’s redrawing of Congressional lines could be the key. The findings suggest a boost for Republicans nationwide, albeit a small one. […]

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida sworn in as new head of NASA

By: - May 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson launched into his new gig on Monday, when Vice President Kamala Harris swore him in to serve as the new NASA administrator. Standing next to his wife, his two children, and a piece of moon rock collected during the Apollo 16 mission, the 78-year-old Nelson expressed gratitude over being […]