Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter in the States Newsroom Washington, D.C, bureau. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Merrick Garland at a lectern with American flags in the background

GOP lawmakers push back against federal probe into threats against school board members

By: - October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans on Thursday objected to a move by the Justice Department to investigate violent threats made against local school board members and teachers, arguing that the federal agency is “policing the speech of citizens and concerned parents.” “Violence and true threats of violence should have no place in our civic discourse, but […]

An empty preschool desk

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

By: - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten – investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds – or whether they even decide […]

Joe Biden

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges.  The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects […]

A "Stop the Steal" sign

Georgia official attacked by Trump decries ‘huge disinformation campaign’ over 2020 election

By: - September 26, 2021

WASHINGTON – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who took the brunt of former President Donald Trump’s attacks over Georgia’s 2020 election results, said during a Friday virtual panel that he hopes election disinformation starts to dissipate. “People weren’t questioning the (election) process before, but there was a huge disinformation campaign which really […]

Several doctors work on a COVID patient

Formella, other Republican AGs urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON – More than 20 Republican state attorneys general, including New Hampshire’s John Formella, are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing.  In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement […]

People voting in voting booths

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Wildfire smoke above a mostly empty highway out West

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming.  The $66 billion […]

President Joe Biden walks down a hallway

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 10, 2021

WASHINGTON – To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people.  He’ll also visit Shanksville, […]

People walking as the sun sets

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

By: - September 6, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a […]

Chuck Schumer walks in the Capitol rotunda flanked by two men.

U.S. Senate to try again on voting rights in September

By: - August 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S. […]

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country.   “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the […]

John Lewis

House Dems document U.S. history of discrimination in shaping John Lewis voting rights bill

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – A House panel released a new report on Friday that will help lawmakers craft legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination […]