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.

Outlook for a $15-an-hour minimum wage boosted by government report

By: - February 8, 2021

WASHINGTON—The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in a report Monday found a gradual increase to a $15 federal minimum wage by 2025 would reduce poverty, add $54 billion to the deficit over a decade and increase pay for millions of low-income workers. The report could help Democrats make a strong case for including a gradual federal minimum wage […]

Defiant Marjorie Taylor Greene says she’d be ‘wasting my time’ on committees

By: - February 5, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters on Friday that now that she’s lost her committee assignments, she has more time to push a pro-Trump agenda. The House voted late Thursday 230-199 to remove the Georgia Republican from two committee seats she had been assigned by GOP leaders upon arriving in Washington as a freshman —Education and Labor, […]

Fudge’s nomination as HUD head advances

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced to the full Senate the nomination of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The committee’s chair, Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said he’s confident that Fudge will work to address the housing crisis and prevent families from […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—The president’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ participation in […]

Biden rolls back policy on separation of migrant children

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden signed three executive orders on Tuesday evening that will reverse controversial policies from the previous administration, including one that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents. Biden made it clear during the signing that he was not creating new immigration policies with the executive orders, but reversing those crafted […]

Vilsack gets nod as Ag Secretary

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead USDA, after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department for eight years during the Obama administration, […]

Dems move to strip Greene of committee assignments

By: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Rules Committee is set to meet on Wednesday to consider a resolution that would strip Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her two committee assignments. If approved for debate by the panel, the resolution would move to the floor of the Democratic-controlled House for a vote. It is included […]

Vilsack faces criticism ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief during the […]

Election reform tops the list of Dems’ proposals in Congress

By: - January 29, 2021

WASHINGTON—Democrats who control Congress by narrow margins and the White House are making a fresh attempt to move forward a massive package that tackles dark money in campaigns, voter suppression and election security. The architect of the bill, Rep. John Sarbanes, said in an interview that the tumultuous 2020 election was a perfect example of […]

Biden pauses new oil and gas leases on public lands

By: - January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden is set to sign a host of executive orders on climate Wednesday that will put a hold on new oil and gas leases on federal property, place environmental justice in the center of climate reform and set goals of conserving nearly a third of the nation’s land and water. On the leases, […]

Take that: Hawley demands ethics investigation into Senators calling for his investigation

By: - January 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—Seven U.S. Senate Democrats urged the chamber’s ethics panel to investigate Sen. Josh Hawley’s role in the pro-Trump assault on the Capitol, and the Missouri Republican is now asking the committee to do the same. In a Monday letter, Hawley argued that the seven Democrats filed an improper complaint last week against him and Sen. Ted Cruz […]

Seven Senators call for investigation of Hawley for role in insurrection

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON—Seven U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday urged the chamber’s ethics panel to look into Sen. Josh Hawley’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in connection with the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. The Democrats also want a similar probe of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s actions and the Jan. 6 mob attack. […]