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.

Congress clears one-week bill to fund the government, but many hurdles remain

By: - December 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate sent President Joe Biden a one-week government funding bill late Thursday, giving negotiators a few more days to wrap up talks on what is expected to be a $1.7 trillion package to keep the federal government up and running through September.  The short-term bill is the second time Congress has […]

At-home covid test

White House resumes handing out free COVID-19 rapid test kits

By: - December 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is once again offering Americans the opportunity to order free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests from the federal government, a program that it had shuttered amid an ongoing stalemate with Congress over additional funding to address the virus.  The program will allow each household to order four free COVID-19 tests as […]

U.S. House and Senate GOP at odds over massive government spending deal

By: - December 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to wrap up its remaining must-pass bills before leaving for the holidays — but a split between Senate Republicans and House GOP leaders could hamstring the all-important task of funding government operations and averting a partial shutdown. Senate Republicans are working with Democrats in both chambers to negotiate a major […]

Biden signs law extending marriage protections to same-sex and interracial couples

By: - December 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Same-sex and interracial couples had many of their marriage rights codified Tuesday when President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan marriage equality bill during a ceremony attended by thousands outside the White House.  In a brief speech, Biden told supporters on the South Lawn that “marriage is a simple proposition — who do you […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes but plans to be “an independent voice […]

Michigan’s Stabenow, Minnesota’s Klobuchar rise in U.S. Senate Democratic leadership

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday elected their leadership for their new 51-seat majority in the upcoming 118th Congress, elevating two Midwesterners — Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow to the No. 3 slot and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar to the No. 4 role.  Stabenow, chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and Klobuchar, chair of the […]

Marriage equality bill heads to Biden’s desk following bipartisan U.S. House vote

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill Thursday that would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue holding many of the rights they have now, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the cases that established those constitutional protections.   The measure now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to […]

Congress on track to scrap Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in defense bill

By: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. military would no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a proposal Congress could pass as soon as this week.  The provision eliminating the vaccine mandate is tucked into the massive National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that Congress has passed each year for […]

President Joe Biden campaigning in SC

Democrats strip Iowa of first-in-the-nation prize, tap South Carolina for first primary

By: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Voters in South Carolina would go first in picking Democratic presidential nominees, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan if their states go along with a proposal a key Democratic National Committee panel approved Friday.  The Rules and Bylaws Committee’s nearly unanimous voice vote proposes moving the Democratic primary’s earliest election date […]

Floor of the Nebraska Legislature

Record number of women in the Nebraska Legislature and in other states

By: and - December 2, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska voters in November elected a record number of women to the Legislature, sending new faces to join the 14 women already serving and setting a new high of 18.  Women in 2023 will hold more than a third of Nebraska’s 49 seats for the first time — at 37% — with nine […]

US House leaders

U.S. House Democrats make history electing first Black party leader in Congress

By: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — The three U.S. House Democrats who have led their party through four presidencies and thousands of floor votes formally passed the torch to the next generation Wednesday, when the party gathered behind closed doors to elect its top leaders for the 118th Congress.  House Democrats named Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, as their […]

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

By: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer.  The 61-36 bipartisan vote sends the bill […]