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Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom

Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom

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.

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 […]

A resident of a Chicago area senior center gets an influenza vaccine during an event hosted by the Chicago Department of Health. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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 […]

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a campaign event at Wofford University Feb. 28, 2020 in Spartanburg, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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 […]

Anti-abortion activists celebrate Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court ended a woman's right to abortion.

A record-setting number of women will serve in state legislatures in 2023

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — A record number of women will soon serve in state legislatures, breaking the previous cap of female lawmakers by at least 69 seats and bringing total representation to more than 32%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.  States will have at least 2,376 female lawmakers in 2023, including both women […]

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York (center) becomes the first African American of either major political party to be elected leader of the Democratic caucus for the 118th Congress on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Here he and other members of the new House Democratic leadership team, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts elected as whip, and Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, elected as conference chair, take questions from reporters at the Capitol. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

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 […]

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, that codifies court-ordered protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. Here Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is seen left the Senate floor after a procedural vote the legislation Nov. 16. Baldwin, the first openly gay woman to be elected to the House and the Senate, has led Senate negotiations on the bill. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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 […]

President Joe Biden meets with congressional leaders Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at the White House. On the agenda was a $37-billion request for disaster relief. Biden met with (L-R) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

More than $37 billion in disaster aid under scrutiny in congressional lame duck

By: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration wants Congress to approve more than $37 billion to help communities throughout the country recover from various natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ian, which battered Florida and the Southeast U.S. in late September, and Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico.  The supplemental funding request comes on top of a $9 billion COVID-19 […]

Sri Benson (center) holds a photograph of his wife Katie, an Army medic who he said died due to toxic exposure, during the signing ceremony for the PACT Act in the East room of the White House on Aug. 10, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Thousands of veterans deluge VA with claims for toxic exposure benefits, health care

By: - November 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is processing claims at the fastest rate in its history, hoping to avoid a significant backlog as hundreds of thousands of veterans apply for health care and benefits under the landmark toxic exposure law Congress passed earlier this year.  The day after President Joe Biden signed the […]

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, on her future in the House of Representatives and said she will not seek a leadership role in the upcoming Congress. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Nancy Pelosi, first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House, steps down from leadership

By: - November 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who became the first woman in history to hold the gavel, shepherding landmark bills across four presidencies, announced Thursday she’ll step aside from leadership though she’ll remain in Congress. “With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” she […]

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, that codifies court-ordered protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. Here Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is seen left the Senate floor after a procedural vote the legislation Nov. 16. Baldwin, the first openly gay woman to be elected to the House and the Senate, has led Senate negotiations on the bill. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bill protecting same-sex marriage gains bipartisan support in U.S. Senate

By: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate cleared a key hurdle to passing a marriage equality bill Wednesday, garnering even more than the 60 senators from both political parties needed to move past a legislative filibuster.  The bill, which could win final passage in the Senate as soon as this week, would ensure same-sex and interracial couples […]

McConnell re-elected U.S. Senate GOP leader, fending off bid by Florida’s Rick Scott

By: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans overwhelmingly re-elected Mitch McConnell on Wednesday as their leader for the next Congress, though nearly a dozen members backed Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s attempt to usurp McConnell. Scott’s bid, which he launched Tuesday during an hours-long discussion among Senate Republicans about the future of their party amid disappointing results in the […]

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republicans' nominee for speaker for the 118th Congress, and the House GOP leadership team for the next session talk with reporters after the party held its leadership elections on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

U.S. House GOP picks leadership team for next Congress: McCarthy, Scalise and Emmer

By: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans elected their slate of leaders for the 118th Congress on Tuesday, even though the party hadn’t yet secured the seats needed to take the majority come January.  The new leadership team emerged from several contested races decided during an hours-long secret ballot voting session, including a three-way campaign for whip […]