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. Attorney General defends FBI probe of threats against school board members

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland for more than four hours on Wednesday about a Justice Department investigation into threats made to local school board members in multiple states. Garland at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing declined to revoke a memo he wrote asking the FBI to meet with local law enforcement to […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

By: - October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised strong objections […]

GOP pushes back against FBI, Department of Justice looking into school board threats

By: - October 7, 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 […]

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

By: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in […]

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

By: - October 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our […]

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

By: - September 28, 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 from deportation […]

Georgia Secretary of State outlines ‘huge disinformation’ campaign in 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 destabilized […]

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Montana AG, others, urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus vaccine or undergo weekly testing. In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 […]

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a former Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged senators to […]

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

By: - September 14, 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 […]

Universal Pre-K and free college part of massive spending bill

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]