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.

Department of Justice doubles attorneys as restrictions in voting rights grow

By: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice announced Friday that it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement came as Republicans in state legislatures introduce and pass restrictive voting laws, such as limiting ballot boxes and requiring voter identification. “We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb […]

Frustrated local leaders want Congress to do more to protect drinking water

By: - June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON—Local officials and community leaders on Wednesday pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards. In addition, two Democratic senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at military bases. […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’

By: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON—The chief executive officer of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I […]

Sinema’s record comes under scrutiny after Biden’s remarks

By: - June 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday said that comments made earlier this week by President Joe Biden about “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends” were not a criticism of moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Biden did not name the senators, but they were widely considered to be […]

Bill of rights for residents of manufactured housing introduced in Congress

By: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is pushing for tenants’ rights to extend to residents of manufactured housing communities to protect them from predatory rent hikes. The Iowa Democrat introduced two pieces of legislation last week. One bill aims to establish a set of minimum standards and protections for tenants of manufactured housing communities, which are typically single […]

House GOP leader condemns Holocaust comment by Marjorie Taylor Greene

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned remarks by Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the wearing of masks and vaccination logos to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust. Greene, a Republican, in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network made the comparison, according to CNN, and […]

From electric buses to asphalt: Congress jockeys for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

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 […]