Gaspard Le Dem

Gaspard Le Dem has worked in a wide array of newsrooms –– from print to broadcast, local to international. The best stories, in his opinion, always have one thing in common: they’re focused on people. Whether he’s reporting on Congress or local politics, he always keeps in mind that news should give people a voice. Before joining The Well, he worked at a local paper in Washington D.C., at a financial publication on Wall Street, and at a French newswire with bureaus across the world. If he’s not chasing down a source, you may find him making black-and-white prints in his darkroom or playing blues on his guitar.

Recent Work

New Website Aims To Help Voters Navigate Vote-By-Mail Process
Voting
New Website Aims To Help Voters Navigate Vote-By-Mail Process
August 11, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A new tool, designed to help U.S. voters navigate the task of voting by mail by streamlining the process of applying for an absentee ballot, is now available. The free tool, which can be accessed at VoteByMail.io, first asks users to enter their zip code. Then,... Read More

Coronavirus Cases Among Children on the Rise as Schools Gear Up For Reopening
Education
Coronavirus Cases Among Children on the Rise as Schools Gear Up For Reopening
August 11, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

New data shows that a growing number of children across the country are testing positive for the coronavirus as many schools prepare to resume in-person classes this fall. Over the last two weeks of July, the U.S. reported 97,078 new cases of COVID-19 among children, according... Read More

Poll Shows Many Younger Voters Aren’t Prepared To Vote By Mail
Opinion Polls
Poll Shows Many Younger Voters Aren’t Prepared To Vote By Mail
August 3, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - New polling data shows that while younger U.S. voters are increasingly interested in voting by mail, many aren’t prepared to do so in 2020. According to a survey released this week by public affairs firm Global Strategy Group, 38% of young voters say they’re... Read More

D.C. Public Schools Will Go All-Virtual Until At Least November
Education
D.C. Public Schools Will Go All-Virtual Until At Least November
July 30, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - District of Columbia officials on Thursday announced that D.C. public schools will hold all classes remotely until the end of the fall semester’s first term on November 6. The decision comes after several neighboring school districts, including Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County,... Read More

RNC Intervenes In Iowa Dispute Over Absentee Voting
State News
RNC Intervenes In Iowa Dispute Over Absentee Voting
July 29, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The Republican National Committee on Monday urged Iowa election officials to block counties from sending out absentee ballot request forms with pre-filled voter information. In a letter, the RNC’s chief counsel asked Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate to issue an order prohibiting local... Read More

Child Care Sector On Brink Of Collapse
Congress
Child Care Sector On Brink Of Collapse
July 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Just a few months ago, Braudilia Mendez had four employees to help care for the toddlers at Curious Mind, a bilingual child care center in Washington, D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood. But when the pandemic struck, Mendez was forced to shut the small day care center... Read More

Ocean Plastic Could Triple By 2040 Without ‘Rapid And Concerted’ Action
Environment
Ocean Plastic Could Triple By 2040 Without ‘Rapid And Concerted’ Action
July 27, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The amount of plastic entering the world’s oceans could nearly triple within the next two decades, according to a report by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan American think tank based in Washington, D.C., called “Breaking the Plastic Wave.”  By 2040, 29 million metric... Read More

U.S. Space Command Says Russia Tested Anti-Satellite Weapon From Space
Geopolitics
U.S. Space Command Says Russia Tested Anti-Satellite Weapon From Space
July 24, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

U.S. Space Command on Wednesday said it had proof that Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon from outer space last week. The agency, which is in charge of U.S. military operations in space, said that a Russian satellite by the name of Cosmos 2543 had “injected” an... Read More

NAACP Sues ED For ‘Robbing’ Public Schools of Coronavirus Funding
Education
NAACP Sues ED For ‘Robbing’ Public Schools of Coronavirus Funding
July 23, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The NAACP is adding its voice to a broad legal challenge of a rule by the U.S. Department of Education that diverts COVID-19 relief aid away from public schools to benefit private education.  The powerful civil rights organization on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit... Read More

Nurses Call on Senate to Protect Health Care Workers As Congress Spars Over Coronavirus Aid
Political News
Nurses Call on Senate to Protect Health Care Workers As Congress Spars Over Coronavirus Aid
July 22, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- Nurses from National Nurses United gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday morning to honor the lives of fellow health care workers who have died from the coronavirus, and to urge Congress to pass legislation to protect them on the job. In 90+-degree heat,... Read More

FDA Authorizes Use Of Batch Testing for COVID-19 As Labs Hit Major Delays
Health
FDA Authorizes Use Of Batch Testing for COVID-19 As Labs Hit Major Delays
July 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized Quest Diagnostics, an American clinical laboratory, to start processing COVID-19 tests in batches in an effort to speed up testing amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases. The technique, called specimen pooling, allows labs to test several vials... Read More

School Buses Pose Social Distancing Problem as Schools Prepare to Reopen
Health
School Buses Pose Social Distancing Problem as Schools Prepare to Reopen
July 16, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- Despite an increasing number of coronavirus cases in all but a handful of U.S. states, school districts across the country are pushing ahead with plans to resume in-person classes this fall. With the pandemic continuing, minimizing the risk of transmission between students and staff... Read More

Berkeley Votes To Replace Police With Unarmed City Workers in Traffic Stops
Cities
Berkeley Votes To Replace Police With Unarmed City Workers in Traffic Stops
July 15, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The city of Berkeley in Northern California will become the first U.S. city to remove police from traffic stops in an effort to reduce racial profiling and avoid deadly run-ins between law enforcement and Black drivers. On Wednesday morning, the Berkeley City Council passed a sweeping... Read More

Chicago Mayor Sends Out ‘Census Cowboy’ to Boost Low Response Rates
Cities
Chicago Mayor Sends Out ‘Census Cowboy’ to Boost Low Response Rates
July 14, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday unveiled an unusual plan to encourage Chicagoans to participate in the U.S. government’s once-a-decade push to count every U.S. resident: a cowboy on a horse.  The mayor was speaking at a press conference when a man in torn denim and... Read More

U.S. State Legislatures Are Disproportionately White and Male, Study Finds
Research
U.S. State Legislatures Are Disproportionately White and Male, Study Finds
July 13, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The vast majority of state legislators in the U.S. are white and male, while first and second-generation immigrants tend to lack representation, according to a new report by New American Leaders, a nonprofit organization working for diversity in political leadership. Roughly 82% of the... Read More

Washington Redskins Will Abandon Controversial Name And Logo
Sports
Washington Redskins Will Abandon Controversial Name And Logo
July 13, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - After mounting pressure from activists, sponsors, and politicians, Washington’s NFL franchise announced on Monday that it would drop its controversial name, “The Redskins”, and start working on redesigning its logo. “Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon... Read More

Environmentalists Say Chesapeake’s Blue Crab Population Healthy Despite Significant Drop
Environment
Environmentalists Say Chesapeake’s Blue Crab Population Healthy Despite Significant Drop
July 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population is going strong despite shrinking significantly this year, according to a report issued last week by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The environmental watchdog found no signs of overfishing in the bay in 2020, though the number of blue crabs decreased... Read More

Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Mississippi Legislature As Cases Surge Across State
State News
Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Mississippi Legislature As Cases Surge Across State
July 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak in Mississippi's state legislature after several lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus last week. House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Republican, announced on Sunday that he had contracted the virus after coming into contact with another member of the state’s lower... Read More

Blue Dogs Push Bill To Crack Down On Chinese Efforts to ‘Exploit’ Pandemic
Foreign Affairs
Blue Dogs Push Bill To Crack Down On Chinese Efforts to ‘Exploit’ Pandemic
July 6, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A group of moderate House Democrats wants the U.S. government to track down potential attempts by the Chinese government to use the coronavirus crisis to its advantage. The Blue Dog Coalition, an alliance of 26 centrist lawmakers, introduced a bill on Thursday requiring U.S.... Read More

After Narrow Primary Win, McGrath Will Need Progressive Vote To Defeat McConnell
2020 Elections
After Narrow Primary Win, McGrath Will Need Progressive Vote To Defeat McConnell
July 2, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Amy McGrath successfully fended off a late surge from progressive challenger Charles Booker last month in Kentucky’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.  After a week of painstaking ballot counting, McGrath prevailed against Booker by just 15,000 votes out of more than 544,000 votes cast,... Read More

New Online Map Shows U.S. Flood Risk Considerably Higher Than Shown In Federal Data
Natural Disasters
New Online Map Shows U.S. Flood Risk Considerably Higher Than Shown In Federal Data
July 2, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A new virtual map unveiled this week provides a comprehensive and precise look at the risk of flooding across America through a free online tool called Flood Factor. The website, developed by the First Street Foundation, a non-profit research and technology group based in Brooklyn, N.Y.,... Read More

House Votes To Block Controversial Rewrite Of Decades-Old Anti-Redlining Laws
Congress
House Votes To Block Controversial Rewrite Of Decades-Old Anti-Redlining Laws
July 1, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- The House on Monday voted to block the Trump administration from overhauling rules that affect how banks make loans to people in lower to moderate-income communities. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters, challenges a recent ruling by the Office of the Comptroller of... Read More

Hickenlooper Holding On To Double Digit Lead In Colorado’s US Senate Primary
2020 Elections
Hickenlooper Holding On To Double Digit Lead In Colorado’s US Senate Primary
June 26, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - New polling shows former Governor John Hickenlooper taking a dominant lead over Andrew Romanoff in Colorado’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, just days before voters cast their ballots on June 30. In a survey published on Thursday by Survey USA, 58% of respondents said... Read More

House Set To Pass D.C. Statehood Bill In Historic Vote
Cities
House Set To Pass D.C. Statehood Bill In Historic Vote
June 26, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives on Friday will vote on historic legislation that would grant statehood to the District of Columbia, making it the 51st U.S. state. The bill -- aptly named H.R. 51 -- is expected to pass with little to no friction, having... Read More

Colleges Seek Legal Protection as They Mull Return to In-Person Classes
In The News
Colleges Seek Legal Protection as They Mull Return to In-Person Classes
June 25, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- With fall around the corner and coronavirus cases surging in some states, U.S. colleges are scrambling to figure out their gameplans for the upcoming school year.  Public health experts have repeatedly warned of a potentially massive second wave of the pandemic if cases aren’t... Read More

Norton Calls On NFL Commissioner To Force Redskins Name Change
Sports
Norton Calls On NFL Commissioner To Force Redskins Name Change
June 23, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- D.C.’s non voting delegate Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Monday renewed her call for the National Football League to scrap the name of D.C.’s football franchise, the Washington Redskins, which has long been criticized for being racist. “I again call on Dan Snyder, the... Read More

Saharan Dust Plume Blankets Caribbean, Putting Hurricane Season On Pause
Science
Saharan Dust Plume Blankets Caribbean, Putting Hurricane Season On Pause
June 23, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON –– A massive plume of dust from the Sahara Desert is slowly making its way from the west coast of Africa towards North and South America, creating drier-than-usual atmospheric conditions over the Atlantic Ocean. The cloud, which astronauts have spotted all the way from the... Read More

Booker Emerges As Powerful Contender Ahead Of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate Primary
Political News
Booker Emerges As Powerful Contender Ahead Of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate Primary
June 22, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- New polling released on Thursday shows Charles Booker outpacing Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s Democratic primary for U.S Senate just days ahead of Election Day on June 23. In a survey published Thursday by Democratic pollster Civiqs, 44% of respondents said they’d pick Booker, while... Read More

CBO Says D.C. Statehood Would Cost $76 Million But ‘Hundreds of Millions’ Could be Saved
Cities
CBO Says D.C. Statehood Would Cost $76 Million But ‘Hundreds of Millions’ Could be Saved
June 18, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- A new report by the Congressional Budget Office found that D.C. statehood would carry a price tag for taxpayers, but could also result in significant savings if the District takes on costs currently covered by the federal government. Admitting the District of Columbia as... Read More

Most College Students Struggling With Food Or Housing During The Pandemic, Report Says
Education
Most College Students Struggling With Food Or Housing During The Pandemic, Report Says
June 18, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Roughly three in five college students in America are struggling to meet basic living needs like food and housing during the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report by The Hope Center. The study, which surveyed more than 38,000 students across 28 states, found that 58%... Read More

Ohio To Send Absentee Ballot Requests To All Registered Voters
2020 Elections
Ohio To Send Absentee Ballot Requests To All Registered Voters
June 17, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on Monday that absentee ballot requests will be mailed to the state’s 7.8 million registered voters ahead of the November election. “For nearly a decade, Ohioans have received an absentee ballot request ahead of the presidential and gubernatorial general... Read More

D.C. Council Hearing Sparks Thousands of Calls to Defund Local Police Department
Cities
D.C. Council Hearing Sparks Thousands of Calls to Defund Local Police Department
June 16, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Thousands of people called on the D.C. Council to defund the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday during a six-hour virtual hearing that drew an unprecedented response from local activists and community leaders. In an impressive show of unity, nearly 100 witnesses provided testimony to... Read More

Rule Barring Some College Students From Receiving COVID-19 Relief ‘Immoral,’ Advocates Say
Education
Rule Barring Some College Students From Receiving COVID-19 Relief ‘Immoral,’ Advocates Say
June 15, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Education Betsy Devos issued a new rule on Thursday that would prevent colleges from granting coronavirus relief funds to undocumented students and non-citizens, including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. After weeks of back and forth, the rule... Read More

House Bill Proposes Giving DC Officials New Titles
Political News
House Bill Proposes Giving DC Officials New Titles
June 12, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - House Representatives Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., introduced a bill on Thursday to give District of Columbia officials new titles matching those of leaders in U.S. states. The proposed measure, dubbed the District of Columbia Government Title Equality Act, upgrades the... Read More

After Primaries Debacle, Georgia Democrats Gearing Up For Best Election ‘In Many Generations’
2020 Elections
After Primaries Debacle, Georgia Democrats Gearing Up For Best Election ‘In Many Generations’
June 11, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Election season got off to a rocky start in Georgia on Tuesday with voters across the state facing long lines and technical glitches with new ballot machines during the primaries, which had been delayed twice due to the coronavirus. The widespread irregularities quickly led... Read More

Advisory Panel Slams EPA Proposal To Overhaul Clean Air Accounting Methods
Environment
Advisory Panel Slams EPA Proposal To Overhaul Clean Air Accounting Methods
June 9, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A panel of scientists on Tuesday slammed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to overhaul accounting methods used to evaluate the various economic and social costs of clean air regulations. Last week, the agency proposed a new set of guidelines that it said would... Read More

US to Allow Two Chinese Passenger Flights Per Week
Transportation
US to Allow Two Chinese Passenger Flights Per Week
June 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Friday that Chinese airlines would be limited to just two weekly roundtrip flights between Chinese and American soil until further notice. Two days earlier, the Trump administration had issued a decision to suspend all passenger flights between... Read More

Dems Urge Congress To Create “Robust” Recovery Plan For Clean Energy
Health
Dems Urge Congress To Create “Robust” Recovery Plan For Clean Energy
June 5, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A group of lawmakers in the House and Senate urged congressional leaders on Wednesday to support the clean energy sector in future coronavirus stimulus legislation. In a letter signed by 57 members -- all Democrats or independents -- the lawmakers called on Congress to... Read More

Tester, IAVA Detail Economic and Emotional Toll Coronavirus Taking On U.S. Veterans
Veterans
Tester, IAVA Detail Economic and Emotional Toll Coronavirus Taking On U.S. Veterans
June 4, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

As the U.S. struggles to fight off a lingering coronavirus pandemic, the full impact of the crisis on the lives of Americans is just starting to come into view. But for the veteran community -- as for many other groups -- the crisis has already taken... Read More

New Democrat Coalition Endorses Comprehensive Push to “Achieve Racial Justice”
Congress
New Democrat Coalition Endorses Comprehensive Push to “Achieve Racial Justice”
June 3, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The New Democrat Coalition, an alliance of centrist Democrats in Congress, condemned racially motivated police violence on Wednesday in the wake of nationwide unrest following the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota. “The murder of George Floyd has brought... Read More

Poll Finds Most Americans Say Anger Over Police Killings Is Justified
Opinion Polls
Poll Finds Most Americans Say Anger Over Police Killings Is Justified
June 3, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A Monmouth University poll out Tuesday found a majority of Americans think that anger over police killings of African-Americans is justified, though fewer agree with the actions carried out by some of those protesters. According to the poll, around 57% of people said that police are... Read More

Civil Rights Coalition Urges Quick Action On “Systemic” Police Brutality
Civil Rights
Civil Rights Coalition Urges Quick Action On “Systemic” Police Brutality
June 2, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A coalition of hundreds of national civil rights organizations urged Congress on Monday to address systemic police violence against African-American people in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis last week. In a letter co-signed by... Read More

DC Residents Set To Vote Tuesday Amid Pandemic and Social Unrest
Elections
DC Residents Set To Vote Tuesday Amid Pandemic and Social Unrest
June 2, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Polls are set to open on Tuesday for the District of Columbia’s primary election despite ongoing civil unrest and a lingering coronavirus outbreak in the nation’s capital. For the past three nights, the District has been rocked by violent clashes between police and demonstrators... Read More

D.C. Drops Speed Limit to 20 MPH On Local Roads to Combat Reckless Driving
Cities
D.C. Drops Speed Limit to 20 MPH On Local Roads to Combat Reckless Driving
June 1, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Friday that the default speed limit on local D.C. roads will be lowered from 25 to 20 mph. The decision to lower the speed limit was prompted by an uptick in speeding on D.C. roads during... Read More

State Legislatures Are Increasingly Looking To Take The Lead On Immigration
Immigration
State Legislatures Are Increasingly Looking To Take The Lead On Immigration
May 29, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - In the past decade, many U.S. states have faced labor shortages that have placed a financial strain on local businesses and economies.  With fewer skilled immigrants entering the country and young people losing interest in blue-collar jobs, key industries like construction, health care, and... Read More

FCC Commissioner Says Lack Of Broadband Access Amid Pandemic Is ‘A National Disaster’
Infrastructure
FCC Commissioner Says Lack Of Broadband Access Amid Pandemic Is ‘A National Disaster’
May 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The coronavirus pandemic has reignited a longstanding debate on the issue of unequal access to broadband internet in America, also known as the “digital divide.” With thousands of businesses shut down, having access to a reliable internet connection is critical -- whether it’s to... Read More

CBO Report Says Federal Highway Fund Could Go Broke In 2022
Transportation
CBO Report Says Federal Highway Fund Could Go Broke In 2022
May 27, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Federal funding for U.S. highway projects could soon run out, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that gives lawmakers advice on economic and budgetary matters. The Highway Trust Fund -- a government funding pool that helps states... Read More

Poll Shows Trump Has Large Favorability Gap With Women
Opinion Polls
Poll Shows Trump Has Large Favorability Gap With Women
May 27, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

New polling shows that a majority of female Trump supporters in 2016 who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic would vote for him again, however, 48% of women still hold a very unfavorable view of him as opposed to  31% very unfavorable for Biden. ... Read More

Advocates Urge Stricter Standards For Particulate Pollution At EPA Hearing
Environment
Advocates Urge Stricter Standards For Particulate Pollution At EPA Hearing
May 22, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Advocates called on the Environmental Protection Agency to raise its standards on particle pollution -- also known as soot or PM2.5 -- at a public hearing on Thursday held by phone due to the coronavirus crisis. In April, the EPA announced it did not... Read More

Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
State News
Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
May 21, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Thousands of Michigan residents were forced to evacuate their homes on Wednesday after heavy rains caused two dams to fail in Midland county, about 120 miles northwest of the city of Detroit. The breaches of the Edenville and Sanford Dams sent a deluge of water into... Read More

Vermont Governor Proposes $400 Million Coronavirus Aid Package
State News
Vermont Governor Proposes $400 Million Coronavirus Aid Package
May 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced a $400 million coronavirus relief package on Wednesday that taps into some of the $1.25 billion in funding the state received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. In March, Congress passed the first round of coronavirus... Read More

Experts Warn Injecting Money Into Higher Ed Without Oversight Could Lead to Profiteering
In The News
Experts Warn Injecting Money Into Higher Ed Without Oversight Could Lead to Profiteering
May 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- Experts say that injecting federal money into America’s higher education system amid the coronavirus crisis could unintentionally lead to more profiteering in the industry. The pandemic has taken a significant toll on U.S. colleges and universities, shutting down college campuses and forcing teachers and... Read More

The Coronavirus Is Taking A Toll On The Renewable Energy Sector
Energy
The Coronavirus Is Taking A Toll On The Renewable Energy Sector
May 19, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The natural world has gotten a boost from the coronavirus pandemic.  With fewer cars on the roads and planes in the sky, the world has benefited from clearer skies and an unprecedented decline in carbon emissions.  Daily CO2 emissions decreased by 17% between January and early... Read More

Department of Transportation Relaxes Rest Stop Rules For Truck Drivers
Transportation
Department of Transportation Relaxes Rest Stop Rules For Truck Drivers
May 18, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Thursday that it had finalized new rules to give truckers more flexibility on their driving hours. The announcement comes after two years of intense public debate over how to give truckers more leeway on required rest... Read More

To Open or Not to Open Come Fall? Colleges Need to Decide
In The News
To Open or Not to Open Come Fall? Colleges Need to Decide
May 15, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Over the last few months, the coronavirus crisis has forced colleges and universities across America to close down campuses and teach students entirely online. Now, the new school year is around the corner, and they face another daunting challenge -- how to reopen safely amid the... Read More

Iowa Logs Record Number of Absentee Ballot Requests Ahead of June Primary
State News
Iowa Logs Record Number of Absentee Ballot Requests Ahead of June Primary
May 14, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

With the Iowa primaries less than three weeks away, an unprecedented number of voters have applied to vote by mail in the state’s June 2 election. As of Tuesday, 356,315 voters had requested an absentee ballot, with 96,311 ballots already sent in, according to data from... Read More

House Lawmakers Urge Relief For Auto Industry in Next Coronavirus Bills
Congress
House Lawmakers Urge Relief For Auto Industry in Next Coronavirus Bills
May 13, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Tuesday urged Congress to provide funding for the U.S. automobile industry in future coronavirus stimulus packages. “America’s motor vehicle industry must remain the heart of our nation’s manufacturing capability,” wrote the lawmakers in a letter to House... Read More

NewDem Action Fund Endorses Two New Candidates In 2020 House Race
2020 Elections
NewDem Action Fund Endorses Two New Candidates In 2020 House Race
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The NewDem Action Fund, the political arm of the New Democrat Coalition, endorsed two new candidates as part of their effort to flip Republican-held seats in the House of Representatives in 2020. The fund announced on Friday that it would back the campaigns of Christy Smith... Read More

Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
State News
Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Republican lawmakers in Michigan’s state legislature are suing Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her move to extend stay-at-home orders last week amid the coronavirus crisis. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, alleges that Whitmer’s emergency orders... Read More

Senators Express Hope and Doubts About New Coronavirus Technology
U.S. Senate
Senators Express Hope and Doubts About New Coronavirus Technology
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Top federal lawmakers argued for multi-billion dollar investments in new technology to test for coronavirus and develop vaccines against it during a Senate hearing Thursday. They also agreed with government health administrators they face an uncertain outcome for their efforts. “Our country will soon... Read More

New Poll Shows Bullock Leading Daines In Montana Senate Race
Opinion Polls
New Poll Shows Bullock Leading Daines In Montana Senate Race
May 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A new poll released on Tuesday by Montana State University puts Democratic Governor Steve Bullock seven points ahead of Republican Senator Steve Daines in the state’s Senate race. In the online poll, which surveyed 738 registered voters, more than 46% of respondents said they’d pick Bullock,... Read More

More Nuance Needed In Church Lawsuit Over Virginia Governor’s Stay-At-Home Orders
State News
More Nuance Needed In Church Lawsuit Over Virginia Governor’s Stay-At-Home Orders
May 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - As state governments weigh their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, religious groups across America have voiced concerns that lockdown measures could infringe on their constitutional rights. Last month, police broke up a gathering of 16 people at Lighthouse Fellowship Church, a small congregation on... Read More

Researchers Claim Reduced Traffic Caused by Pandemic Could Become Permanent
Transportation
Researchers Claim Reduced Traffic Caused by Pandemic Could Become Permanent
May 6, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The coronavirus pandemic has made life harder for Americans, but one of the few upsides of the crisis has been a massive reduction of traffic across the country. With fewer cars on the roads, Americans have enjoyed cleaner air, more room for outdoor exercise,... Read More

Advocates Sue North Carolina In Push To Relax Vote-By-Mail Rules
Voting
Advocates Sue North Carolina In Push To Relax Vote-By-Mail Rules
May 5, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A group of North Carolina voters backed by a Democratic non-profit group is suing the state in an effort to ease restrictions around mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit, filed by Democracy Docket, a non-profit founded by Marc Elias, former counsel to Hillary Clinton’s... Read More

House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌Say‌ ‌Freezing‌ ‌WHO‌ ‌Funding‌ ‌Could‌ ‌Harm‌ ‌Venezuelans‌
Health
House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌Say‌ ‌Freezing‌ ‌WHO‌ ‌Funding‌ ‌Could‌ ‌Harm‌ ‌Venezuelans‌
May 4, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON‌ ‌-‌ ‌House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌urged‌ ‌the‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌administration‌ ‌on‌ ‌Friday‌ ‌to‌ ‌resume‌ ‌funding‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pan‌ ‌American‌ ‌Health‌ ‌Organization,‌ ‌a‌ ‌regional‌ ‌branch‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌World‌ ‌Health Organization‌ ‌that‌ ‌operates‌ ‌in‌ ‌Latin‌ ‌America.‌ ‌ In‌ ‌a‌ ‌letter‌ ‌to‌ ‌Secretary‌ ‌of‌ ‌State‌ ‌Mike‌ ‌Pompeo,‌ ‌Rep.‌ ‌Eliot‌ ‌Engel,‌ ‌D-N.Y.,‌... Read More

Supporting Anti-Lockdown Protests In Michigan Could Hurt Republicans In November
State News
Supporting Anti-Lockdown Protests In Michigan Could Hurt Republicans In November
May 1, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- GOP lawmakers in Michigan’s state legislature want to take Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer to court over her decision to invoke emergency powers during the coronavirus crisis. The dispute started in March when Whitmer declared a state of emergency as Michigan was reporting its first... Read More

Trump Orders Meat Plants To Stay Open Amid Concerns For Worker Safety
Economy
Trump Orders Meat Plants To Stay Open Amid Concerns For Worker Safety
April 30, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Amid growing concerns that the coronavirus crisis could disrupt America’s food chain, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to keep meat and poultry processing plants open during the pandemic. Citing the Defense Production Act, which gives the president broad authority over... Read More

Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Bill To Examine U.S. Response To Coronavirus Crisis
Congress
Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Bill To Examine U.S. Response To Coronavirus Crisis
April 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of House lawmakers endorsed a bill on Monday to create a new congressional task force to scrutinize the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, introduced in early April by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. and... Read More

Older Americans More Attentive To COVID-19 News Than Younger Adults
Research
Older Americans More Attentive To COVID-19 News Than Younger Adults
April 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The coronavirus crisis has dominated headlines in 2020, but research shows some Americans are paying more attention than others. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly all U.S. adults -- about 92% -- say they’re keeping a close watch on COVID-19 news. ... Read More

Latest Coronavirus Bill Leaves Local Governments Hanging
Economy
Latest Coronavirus Bill Leaves Local Governments Hanging
April 24, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives approved a new coronavirus relief package on Thursday, replenishing funds for small business loans, hospitals, and to expand virus testing. The bill, signed by President Trump Friday afternoon, adds $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, a popular lending initiative... Read More

Activists Say Coronavirus Is An Opportunity To Reshape Environmental Policy
Environment
Activists Say Coronavirus Is An Opportunity To Reshape Environmental Policy
April 23, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

It’s a big year for the planet. April 22, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a celebration of the environmental movement that is honored around the world. But many are celebrating Earth Day indoors this year. The coronavirus has confined millions of people to... Read More

Polls Show Collins Could Lose Senate Seat To ‘Pragmatic’ Dem Challenger
Political News
Polls Show Collins Could Lose Senate Seat To ‘Pragmatic’ Dem Challenger
April 21, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

In 2014, Susan Collins was looking at an easy victory in Maine. The veteran Senator was well-funded, well-liked, and faced little competition in her bid for re-election. Her main challenger, Shenna Bellows, was a young progressive with no name recognition and limited experience in public office.... Read More

REPORT: Immigration Reform Was A Hot Topic For State Legislatures In 2019
Immigration
REPORT: Immigration Reform Was A Hot Topic For State Legislatures In 2019
April 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Congress made little progress on immigration reform last year, but state legislatures are keeping the ball rolling. Nearly every U.S. state passed legislation related to immigration in 2019, according to a report by the National Council on State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that researches... Read More

At Top Medical Schools, WHO Program Plays “Critical” Role For Nurses In Training
In The News
At Top Medical Schools, WHO Program Plays “Critical” Role For Nurses In Training
April 17, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Scores of public health experts responded with shock and anger this week to the decision by the White House to halt U.S. funding to the World Health Organization. The move, announced by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, comes as the world struggles to contain... Read More

Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
Agriculture
Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
April 14, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

When the coronavirus started shutting down livestock markets, Darvin Bentlage knew his farm would take a hit. Springtime cattle sales usually bring in about a third of his ranching income, and cattle prices were already at a low, he said.  “I think we’ll be playing it... Read More

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