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 sends $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to Biden for his signature

By: and - November 7, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House cleared a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure bill and took a major step toward passage of a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill late Friday, following months of wrangling between Democrats’ progressive and moderate wings. The votes marked a milestone in the marathon negotiations among members of the House Democratic caucus—and […]

Conservative justices appear skeptical about New York gun control law

By: - November 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday after listening to two hours of oral arguments on a New York law that imposes strict limits on carrying a gun outside the home—a case that will test how far states can go when crafting their own laws. In New York State Rifle & […]

What’s in — and what’s out — of the $1.75 T social spending, climate bill

By: and - October 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

Biden pitches new $1.75 T plan without paid family leave

By: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is meeting with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to pitch lawmakers on a new slimmed-down framework for what would be included in a massive social reform package, according to senior administration officials. The $1.75 trillion blueprint that Biden is presenting to Democrats includes a universal pre-K program for 3-and-4 year-olds, […]

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 […]