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.

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution, H.Res. 275, passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen Republicans argued […]

Liz Cheney of Wyoming gets ousted from House leadership for not supporting Trump

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election. Saying they want to unite the party in an attempt to win back the House in the 2022 midterm elections, GOP lawmakers in […]

Senators deadlock on major voting reform bill

By: - May 11, 2021

Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to the floor […]

Biden orders federal contract workers to make $15 per hour

By: - April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order Tuesday to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 an hour, according to senior administration officials. The order will go into effect Jan. 30 of next year, according to a fact sheet provided by the administration. Once in place through new and extended contracts, the […]

Federal background checks on ammo sales pushed by Democrats

By: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require instant background checks to prevent individuals with a criminal record from illegally purchasing ammunition. The measure backed by the Democrats, known as “Jaime’s Law,” is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who died in the Marjory Stoneman […]

Georgia voting law pummeled at Senate hearing

By: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON—Georgia’s new voting law was at the center of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where senators discussed restoration of a key section in the Voting Rights Act that would prevent states, mostly in the South, from changing their election laws without federal approval. During the more than four-hour hearing, witnesses opposed to the sweeping new […]

USDA, Vilsack address food insecurity and nutrition in budget request

By: - April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition progrmas in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, told members […]

As many as 100 immigration judges added under Biden’s budget proposal

By: - April 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday released a budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year that would increase the number of immigration judges and allocate millions in funding to clear backlogs of hearings and asylum requests. The administration is grappling with an influx of asylum seekers at the Southern border after inheriting a gutted […]

Biden calls gun violence ‘international embarrassment’ while rolling out executive action

By: - April 8, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Thursday reiterated his call on Congress to pass stalled gun legislation reform but also outlined executive action he’s taking on several gun control measures, following deadly mass shootings last month in Colorado and Georgia. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said in remarks […]

Police officer dead after suspect rams car into barricade outside U.S. Capitol

By: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—One U.S. Capitol Police officer was dead and another injured Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol and struck the officers, according to law enforcement. The officer who died was identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans by police. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol […]

Interior launches a new unit to investigate cases of missing and murdered indigenous people

By: - April 2, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Interior is creating a new unit to lead and help coordinate investigations into the ongoing crisis of murdered and missing American Indian and Alaska Native people. Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, the first Indigenous person to lead the agency, announced Thursday the formation of the Missing & Murdered Unit within the Bureau of […]

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

By: - April 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box. The hearing in the House Administration Committee’s elections subcommittee also served as a way for voting […]