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.

VA eyes major changes in health care system as veterans flock to the South, Southwest

By: - March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday began the years-long process of restructuring its nationwide health care network, an endeavor that will require the president and Congress to sign off before it could begin.  The restructuring would mean the closures or consolidations of some medical facilities, likely provoking opposition from communities and […]

U.S., other democracies limit Russian trade benefits in reaction to war against Ukraine

By: - March 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday announced a new round of sanctions on Russia by the United States, as well as countries within the European Union and the Group of Seven nations. The latest round of joint economic restrictions will revoke Russia’s status as a preferred trading partner and eliminate the country’s ability to […]

Congress sends Biden spending package that omits aid for COVID tests, treatment

By: - March 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress late Thursday cleared a massive government funding package that includes billions in aid to Ukraine, but Democrats and Republicans remain locked in a stalemate over additional pandemic relief.  White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier in the day that without billions more in funding, federal testing capacity would begin declining this […]

Return of earmarks a boon for members of Congress facing midterm battles

By: and - March 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vulnerable lawmakers from throughout the country are set to rake in federal cash for home-state projects after a major spending bill included the first round of earmarks in more than a decade.  Members from both political parties began requesting thousands of projects last year when U.S. House and Senate leaders resurrected what’s called […]

COVID aid stripped from U.S. spending bill after protests states would lose relief money

By: - March 9, 2022

Editor’s note: This report has been updated. WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders on Wednesday pulled more than $15 billion in emergency COVID-19 aid from a government funding bill after infuriated Democrats said their states would get shut out of promised cash from a 2021 pandemic relief package. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that it […]

Congress reaches deal on massive spending package with billions for COVID aid, Ukraine

By: - March 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans forged agreement early Wednesday on a spending package that will fund the government for the next eight months, as well as provide billions in emergency funding for COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.  The announcement means Congress should be able to avert a government shutdown when a spending patch expires […]

Biden declares U.S. ban on Russian oil, warns of gasoline price spikes

By: and - March 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States will no longer import Russian energy, in an attempt to further cripple that nation’s economy as it wages war against Ukraine.  President Joe Biden announced the newest sanctions Tuesday from the White House, saying that a ban on Russian oil and gas would target “the main artery of Russia’s economy.” […]

U.S. government shutdown days away as Congress struggles on Ukraine aid, COVID-19 relief

By: - March 7, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. WASHINGTON — With just five days left before government funding expires, Democrats and Republicans are trying to reach agreement on $1.5 trillion in federal spending as well as billions more in assistance to Ukraine aid and COVID-19 relief.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday afternoon that […]

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sasse, Klobuchar, Leahy

By: - March 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson spent part of her Thursday shaking hands with Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska underneath a mounted bison head in his Capitol Hill office. The somewhat unusual photo op came on the second day of Jackson’s meeting privately with senators on the Judiciary Committee ahead of […]

White House wants $10 billion for Ukraine aid, $22.5 billion for more COVID help

By: - March 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is asking Congress to provide $10 billion in emergency funding assistance to Ukraine and $22.5 billion in COVID-19 funding on a fast timeline — within the next week.  White House acting budget director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to lawmakers that this likely won’t be the last emergency funding […]

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with top members of U.S. Senate

By: - March 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson began the arduous Senate confirmation process Wednesday, meeting on Capitol Hill with four key senators. Jackson, who would become the first Black woman on the court if confirmed, started her morning with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat. Schumer said he expects Republicans […]

Biden in State of the Union urges ‘unmistakable’ support for democracy in Ukraine

By: and - March 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night to reassert America as a leading global voice for democracy and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine.  “Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson — when dictators do not pay a price for […]