Author

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.

Chinese surveillance balloon now drifting across the middle of the U.S., Pentagon confirms

By: - February 3, 2023

(This article was updated at 3:35 p.m. Central to add more information from the Pentagon.) WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will postpone his planned trip to Beijing after the U.S. detected a Chinese surveillance balloon hovering over Montana. A senior State Department official said Friday that despite the Chinese government claiming the […]

U.S. House panel probes extent of fraud in federal COVID-19 relief programs

By: - February 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — From 2020 to 2022, a group of Minnesotans pretended to be serving meals to low-income children, all the while filing for reimbursement under a federal COVID-19 relief program aimed to buoy child nutrition as schools and childcare centers closed.  In all, the schemers defrauded the government of $250 million, the Minnesota Reformer reported. […]

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (center right), held a roundtable on Jan. 25, 2023, on the role of social media platforms in the sale of illicit drugs, specifically fentanyl-laced drugs. (Photo by Ashley Murray/States Newsroom)

U.S. House GOP takes aim at fake pills containing deadly fentanyl sold on social media

By: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a June 2020 morning, Amy Neville entered her son’s bedroom to wake him for an orthodontist appointment.  Fourteen-year-old Alex didn’t wake up.  He died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a counterfeit pill he bought from someone he met on Snapchat, Neville told GOP lawmakers Wednesday during a roundtable discussion of the role […]

Classified material found in the Indiana home of former VP Mike Pence

By: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence is the latest top public official to have been discovered possessing classified material in his personal home, according to a letter his lawyer sent to the National Archives. A dozen documents with classified markings were discovered in Pence’s residence in Carmel, Indiana, in mid-January.  The former vice president […]

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy gives a Ukrainian flag signed by members of the Ukrainian military to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as he addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Dec. 21, 2022. In his first known trip outside of Ukraine since Russia invaded, Zelenskyy met with U.S. President Joe Biden and outlined Ukraine's request for continued military aid. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Ukrainians by the thousands arrive in states, but with a time limit

By: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — As the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches next month, Ukrainians who were welcomed to the United States under a special program offering an escape from war are watching another timeline. The temporary Uniting for Ukraine program, sometimes called U4U, offers a two-year stay in the U.S., given that individuals […]

U.S. House Republicans roll out a slew of new committee chairs to steer agenda

By: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans filled their top committee seats this week, choosing the leaders who will set the course for bills and issues for the new majority in the 118th Congress. Veteran GOP lawmakers from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri were among those who won the right to head up […]

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gives a thumbs-up after being elected Speaker of the House in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 7, 2023. After four days of voting and 15 ballots, McCarthy secured enough votes to become speaker for the 118th Congress. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. House GOP backs rules plan without disclosing deals made with hard-right members

By: and - January 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House adopted rules for the 118th Congress on Monday, though several of the concessions Speaker Kevin McCarthy made with more conservative members of the Republican Party to secure the gavel weren’t included in the document, or publicly circulated ahead of the vote.  The 55-page rules package the House voted nearly party-line […]

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gives a thumbs-up after being elected Speaker of the House in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 7, 2023. After four days of voting and 15 ballots, McCarthy secured enough votes to become speaker for the 118th Congress. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. House GOP backs McCarthy as speaker after tense and chaotic late-night session

By: and - January 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House elected Kevin McCarthy speaker early Saturday after most of the chamber’s Republicans finally gathered behind him, ending a four-day stalemate that led to the most rounds of voting for a speaker since before the Civil War.  The California Republican was able to clinch the gavel on the 15th ballot by […]

U.S. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (right) Rep.-elect Ralph Norman (R-SC) (center) and Rep.-elect Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in the House Chamber during the fourth day of voting for Speaker of the House on Jan. 06, 2023. McCarthy failed to earn more than 218 votes on 13 ballots. The House plans to reconvene at 10 p.m. Eastern to vote again. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

McCarthy flips GOP holdouts as his campaign for U.S. House speaker gathers speed

By: and - January 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — Kevin McCarthy’s campaign to become speaker of the U.S. House will stretch into at least Friday night, as the California Republican inched ahead in his struggle to unite his divided party around his candidacy and an overhaul of rules under which the chamber will operate. “We’ll come back tonight, and I believe at […]

California Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy heads to the U.S. House chamber just after noon on Jan. 5, 2023, as the House began a third day of votes on his bid to become speaker. "We're just going to keep working until we solve it," he told reporters. (Ashley Murray/States Newsroom)

U.S. House stuck for a third day as Republicans struggle to unite around a speaker

By: and - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House slogged through more votes for speaker Thursday, with Republicans unable to reach consensus about whether Kevin McCarthy should lead them during the 118th Congress, or if another lawmaker should win the gavel.  Twenty-one Republicans voted against McCarthy during the third day, signaling that ongoing closed-door negotiations and talks on the […]

U.S. Rep.-elect Steve Scalise (R-LA) (right) talks to Rep.-elect Ken Buck (R-CO) in the House Chambers on the second day of voting for Speaker of the House on Jan. 04, 2023. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to earn more than 218 votes on six separate ballots Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time in 100 years that the Speaker was not elected on the first ballot. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

U.S. House paralyzed following second day of GOP failure to elect a speaker

By: and - January 4, 2023

(This story was updated at 7:50 p.m. Central on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, to reflect the House’s vote to adjourn until Thursday.) WASHINGTON — The U.S. House adjourned without a speaker for the second day in a row Wednesday as Republicans’ stalemate over who should lead the chamber for the next two years dragged on, with […]

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol after he was nominated for speaker of the House by members of the House GOP, on Nov. 15, 2022. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

U.S. House conservatives tank McCarthy bid to be speaker on multiple ballots

By: and - January 3, 2023

(This story has been updated to reflect that House Republicans adjourned after three unsuccessful votes to choose a new speaker.) WASHINGTON — Republican control of the U.S. House got off to a rocky start Tuesday when the party was unable to decide who should become speaker amid a sharp disagreement within the party’s more conservative faction. […]