Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura Olson covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Congress certifies Biden as president after rioting mob is driven from the Capitol

By: and - January 7, 2021

Neither of Pennsylvania’s senators, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Bob Casey, supported Hawley’s objection to the state’s election process. Casey decried it as an “attempt to disenfranchise” Pennsylvania’s voters.

LIVE Updates: Violence at the U.S. Capitol

By: and - January 6, 2021

A mob derailed the typically routine process of Congress certifying the presidential election results on Wednesday, with both chambers abruptly recessing after President Donald Trump’s supporters clashed with police and forced their way into the U.S. Capitol.

Dozens of GOP lawmakers, including many from Pa., to reject certifying Biden as president

By: and - January 5, 2021

The final step in a turmoil-filled 2020 presidential election is set for Wednesday, when Congress will certify election results showing that Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.

A presidential election like none other, and now an inauguration like none other

By: - December 30, 2020

The last time a president did not participate in their successor’s inauguration was in 1869, when President Andrew Johnson left office and Ulysses S. Grant was sworn in.

Congress passes massive ‘first step’ in pandemic relief with $900B package

By: - December 22, 2020

House leaders divided the bill into two parts and passed the emergency relief portion on a 359-53 vote. Another portion, which included Pentagon and other spending for the coming year, passed 327-85. The Senate combined the two bills and cleared the package in an overwhelming 92-6 vote shortly before midnight.

What’s in the $900B emergency relief bill—and what’s out

By: and - December 21, 2020

By Laura Olson and Ariana Figueroa WASHINGTON— Congress is set to pass a massive bipartisan emergency relief bill that’s intended to aid Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summaries from House Democratic appropriators say it includes: DIRECT CHECKS —$166 billion in another round of economic impact payments that will go directly to Americans. —$600 stimulus checks […]

Pa.’s Toomey blamed as COVID-19 relief deal hits snag

By: - December 18, 2020

“We are simply saying these programs were meant to be temporary, they're going to be temporary,” Toomey said during a conference call Thursday.

FDA authorizes first COVID-19 vaccine, clearing the way for states’ rollout

By: - December 11, 2020

The vaccine authorized for emergency use from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech is expected to begin shipping across the country within 24 hours of Friday’s approval from the FDA.

States just one step away from COVID-19 vaccine rollout after federal panel OK

By: - December 10, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration still must give its approval on the Pfizer vaccine’s emergency use, but the agency is expected to follow the recommendation from its advisory committee. That FDA decision could come within days, followed by another vote next week on another proposed vaccine from Moderna. 

CDC panel advises states to prioritize health care workers, nursing home residents for COVID-19 vaccine

By: - December 2, 2020

The priority groups tapped for the initial wave of vaccines encompass some 24 million Americans: 21 million health care workers and 3 million in nursing homes and assisted-living centers. 

Washington at a standstill, as states face the loss of federal help amid ‘the worst part of the crisis’

By: - November 23, 2020

The expiring provisions from the $2 trillion CARES Act and subsequent executive orders will mean reductions in unemployment benefits for those struggling to find work, the loss of eviction protections, and a restart to monthly student loan bills that had been suspended.

Seven members of Congress test positive for COVID-19 in one week, as U.S. cases surge

By: - November 19, 2020

WASHINGTON — Seven members of the U.S. House and Senate announced during the past week that they have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a burst of infections on Capitol Hill as cases have surged across the country. At least 29 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year, […]