Ashley Murray

Ashley Murray

Ashley Murray covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include domestic policy and appropriations.

The Biden administration has officially designated illicit fentanyl adulterated with xylazine as an “emerging drug threat.” Shown are bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, on display before a press conference on a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

White House rolls out strategy to battle deadly drug mixture of fentanyl and xylazine

By: - July 11, 2023

The street drug known as 'tranq' has taken a deadly toll in Philadelphia, the Capital-Star has previously reported.

Vulnerable U.S. House Republicans who opposed student debt plan targeted in 2024

By: - July 8, 2023

The White House lambasted the decision and announced what it called new actions to provide debt relief for student loan borrowers, including its Saving on a Valuable Education, or SAVE, plan, which the administration says will cut payments for low earners.

An aerial shot of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Getty Images).

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down use of affirmative action in college admissions

By: and - June 29, 2023

In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, wrote that the admissions processes at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

A crowd gathered to photograph the bronze statue of author Willa Cather after a dedication ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Statuary Hall on Wednesday June 7, 2023. The Cather statue is Nebraska's second added to the National Statuary Hall Collection. Ashley Murray/States Newsroom

Statue of renowned Nebraska author Willa Cather unveiled in U.S. Capitol

By: - June 8, 2023

Cather began her writing career in Pittsburgh, where she worked as a journalist and teacher for a decade.

Hate groups’ political influence in Pa. and beyond growing, watchdog says

By: - June 7, 2023

The report identified many such groups in Pennsylvania, including chapters of Moms for Liberty.

New work requirements for some SNAP recipients included in debt limit deal

By: - May 31, 2023

Some limitations on TANF made it into Saturday’s agreement, but work requirements for Medicaid were dropped.

For this Pa. family, U.S. House vote on bill making fentanyl permanently criminal strikes close to home

By: - May 27, 2023

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District, a physician, is a co-sponsor of the bill, which cleared the House on Thursday.

Progressives try to persuade Biden to use the 14th Amendment to resolve debt crisis 

By: - May 23, 2023

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., has called on the White House to invoke the constitutional language.

A default on the U.S. debt would be far worse than a government shutdown. Here’s how

By: , , and - May 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — A U.S. default on its debt would have a significantly broader impact on federal operations, financial markets and the global economy than recent government shutdowns that have left ordinary Americans largely untouched. While the two have been confused frequently during debate over the debt limit, the federal government has had considerable practice with […]

(Photo courtesy of the office of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa.)

Pa.’s Fetterman urges Biden to keep 14th Amendment on table during debt ceiling talks

By: and - May 18, 2023

“The entire GOP debt ceiling negotiation is a sad charade, and it’s exactly what’s wrong with Washington. We’re playing with fire and the livelihoods of millions just for the GOP to try and turn the screws on hungry Americans,” Fetterman said.

Pa.’s Perry: Debt crisis ‘created by reckless Democrat policies and out of control spending’

By: and - May 11, 2023

The U.S. House GOP wants spending cuts — and $10B in home-state earmarks -- to avoid a potentially catastrophic default.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gives a speech on the economy at Fords Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on Sept. 8, 2022 in Dearborn, Michigan. Yellen toured the factory, which produces the Ford F-150 Lightning, before her remarks. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

U.S. could default as early as June 1, Yellen warns Congress

By: - May 2, 2023

The U.S. hit its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit on Jan. 19, triggering the Treasury Department to invoke “extraordinary measures."