Matt Laslo | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Matt Laslo

Capitol Hill Reporter

Based on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is an award-winning reporter who has covered Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court since 2006. While he’s filed stories for NPR and more than 40 of its affiliates, his work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Omaha World-Herald, and Washingtonian.

Laslo is also the host and founder of BillsandBrews.com, a show intended to rid Washington of partisanship through casual pub chats with lawmakers. Since 2009 Laslo has sat on the board at the Regional Reporters Association where he helps represent the dwindling numbers of regional reporters based in Washington. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Covenant College and a Master of Arts degree in government and public policy from Johns Hopkins University (cum laude).


Articles Written by Matt Laslo

WAMU 88.5
Native Americans from across the United States are holding a peaceful protest on the National Mall this week, brought here by a pipeline debate in the Midwest. Here in Washington the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline--which would deliver tar sand oil from Canada to the Gulf coast--has centered on whether it will create jobs or increase global warming. But the tribes that ...
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Environmental advocates are changing their strategy to combat global warming: they're now lobbying for campaign finance reform. Environmentalists want a cap and trade bill to curb pollution, but they say it can't happen with oil and gas companies dumping tens of millions of dollars on congressional elections. Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International says reforms on campai...
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The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today that could have far-reaching impacts for troops and their families exposed to contaminants. Two years ago, President Obama signed a law providing medical compensation for Marines and their families who drank contaminated water at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune. Retired Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger lost his 9-year-old daughter Janey ...
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President Obama is urging states like Virginia to expand Medicaid on the federal government's dime, but many Republicans in Richmond remain wary. When the president faced reporters at the White House in a rare press conference last week, he went out of his way to chastise states like Virginia for not expanding Medicaid. A central plank to the Affordable Care Act w...
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The Virginia U.S. Senate race is heating up as both candidates are proving to be formidable fundraisers. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Warner is well known throughout Virginia, and it shows in his fundraising. In the first quarter of this year the former governor pulled in nearly $2.7 million, bringing his total cash on hand close to $9 million. But his challe...
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With immigration reform stalled in Congress, lawmakers in the region are scrambling to help out family members of their constituents trying to get to the States. Many businesses in the region are hoping immigration reform passes so they can bring in more high skilled workers from overseas. But Northern Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly says it's about more than ...
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Lawmakers in the region are preparing for an intense fight this fall and they say the new House budget draws a stark line between the two parties. Congress and the White House already agreed to a spending plan for the next two years, but lawmakers are still debating next year’s budget. Is it a waste of time? Some observers say ‘yes, it is a waste,’ but opposing budgets...
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Critics of recent federal budget cuts say they could have a lasting negative impact on national parks. To D.C. area locals, the National Mall is a great place to hike or catch an exhibit at a free museum. But to local officials, it’s also a vital economic engine. About 34 million tourists walk the mall annually, spending close to $600 million. Virginia pulls in ...
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Do you ever wonder where your tax dollars go? It's pretty hard even for lawmakers and reporters to track those dollars because there's not an easily searchable database of federal spending. Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner is hoping to change that. This week he helped pass a bill in the Senate to create such a database. It's "an important bill that would mak...
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After a bill to shrink the wage gap between the genders failed yesterday, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) says she’s redoubling her effort. Data showing women only make 77 cents for every dollar men make doesn't sit well with many policy makers, especially Senator Mikulski. She’s the longest serving female in congressional history and remembers when that gap was much large...
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This week President Obama signed executive orders to help female federal contractors get a pay raise. The orders encourage federal contractors to be more transparent about the salaries of their employees. But Democrats are calling for even more to be done. In 2011 the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board reported that female federal workers made only 93 cents to each dollar t...
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Critics of the Supreme Court's new ruling lifting caps on campaign donations argue it's going to make the capital region's congressional races much more expensive. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) knows how expensive it is to win a statewide campaign in Virginia. ...
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Veterans' groups are getting behind a new proposal that attempts to root out bad employees at the Veterans Affairs Department. The Veterans Affairs Department has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of benefits claims. Republican lawmakers are hoping to address the problem with a new piece of legislation that would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to fire workers who are ...
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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) is helping lead the fight for a bill intended to shrink the wage gap between male and female workers. Senate Democrats had planned to hold a vote on hiking the minimum wage next week, but now they're changing their strategy. Instead party leaders are moving ahead with a bill intended to shrink the wage gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act requires the...
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Lawmakers are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe as the political calculations are shifting in Virginia and across the country. President Barack Obama has implemented a moratorium on drilling for natural gas off Vi...
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D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is renewing her effort to get a second statue from the District placed in the U.S. Capitol. D.C. has two statues already made. Its statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglas sits in the Capitol among the two statues from every state. However its other statue of Pierre L'Enfant sits down the street at One Judiciary Square. Holmes Norton says its...
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Maryland officials are reportedly set to scrap the state’s multi-million dollar health care exchange website. After tens of thousands of Marylanders have been locked out of the state’s glitch-ridden health website, on Tuesday the board of the Maryland exchange is expected to vote to scrap its more than $120 million site and adopt the successful one being used in Connecti...
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Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says Congress needs to pressure Ukraine into cooperating to combat cyber criminals. Last week both chambers of Congress passed proposals to give Ukraine $1 billion in economic assistance. While Sen. Warner supported that package, he still says it falls short because it didn't do anything to force their government to crack down on cyber criminals....
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This week, some lawmakers in the region introduced legislation to give federal workers a boost in pay. It's no secret why lawmakers from Maryland and Virginia are pushing a plan to bump federal workers' pay by 3.3 percent: Many of their voters are in the federal workforce. Easy enough. But even the president is only asking for a 1 percent hike. So are these local lawmakers j...
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Lawmakers in the region are pointing fingers over who's to blame for not extending long-term unemployment benefits. Before lawmakers left town last week, 10 senators unveiled a plan to extend long-term unemployment benefits, which expired at the end of last year. Now Speaker John Boehner is throwing cold water on the plan, saying it's unworkable for states to back pay benefi...