Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

guns mounted on a wall

Wave of mass shootings prompts Biden to call yet again for assault weapons ban

By: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following a mass shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in which 11 people in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in California were killed, President Joe Biden again urged Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Communities across America “have been struck by tragedy after tragedy, including mass shootings from Colorado Springs to […]

Members of Congress sign up for TikTok, despite security concerns

By: - January 19, 2023

An earlier version of this report included U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia on the list of members of Congress with TikTok accounts. His staff said after the story’s publication that the account was not set up by Scott, and they are reaching out to TikTok. WASHINGTON – Just like teens, members of Congress are […]

Barren shelves at a food pantry

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

By: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON – The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

By: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON – The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access, and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press […]

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

By: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

Biden administration to rapidly expel more migrants at the border, add legal pathways

By: and - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced dual immigration strategies that would increase expulsions of migrants who attempt to cross the Southern border, while also expanding opportunities for migrants from several countries to legally enter the United States. But the sweeping new immigration plan brought condemnation from advocates who said he should not broaden […]

D.C. nears Jan. 6 anniversary with warnings about extremism, awards for courage

By: - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON – On the eve of the second anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, congressional Democrats and dozens of veterans on Thursday in a press conference called on incoming House Republican leaders to condemn political violence and hold their members who supported the attack accountable for their actions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is scheduled on […]

U.S. Senate opens a new session with a record set by McConnell

By: - January 3, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed reelected and newly elected senators Tuesday afternoon to a new session of Congress, highlighting the bipartisan success of the previous two years and outlining his optimism for a continued approach.    “There’s no reason why the success of the last two years needs to end today,” Schumer, […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice […]

‘Worth the wait’: U.S. Senate Democrats celebrate a 51-seat majority with Georgia win

By: - December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer jubilantly announced Wednesday that the Georgia runoff election victory will next year end an evenly divided U.S. Senate, giving Democrats more subpoena power in committees and a quicker turnaround in approving federal and judicial appointments. Schumer, a New York Democrat, congratulated Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock for […]

Activists call on President Biden to cancel student debt during a protest

Student loan repayment pause extended by White House amid legal battles over relief plan

By: - November 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30 while legal challenges to the administration’s student debt relief program are fought over in the courts. The agency said if the student debt relief program has not been put in place by […]

People hold up blue signs with red letters spelling out the word "Home" in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Senate Democrats make a last-ditch push for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers

By: - November 18, 2022

WASHINGTON – Democratic U.S. senators have set a December deadline for passing bipartisan legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for more than 600,000 undocumented people who were brought into the country as children – but they don’t yet have enough Senate Republican votes to make it a reality. During a Wednesday press conference […]