Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter in the States Newsroom Washington, D.C, bureau. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

House Dems document U.S. history of discrimination in shaping John Lewis voting rights bill

By: - August 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — A House panel released a new report on Friday that will help lawmakers craft  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination in voting and […]

Feds order new halt to evictions in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The Biden administration […]

Some water systems push back on treatment costs for ‘forever chemicals’ regulation

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in voting rights protest in D.C.

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. […]

U.S. House to vote next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

By: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

By: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In a 222-190 vote that was almost entirely party-line, just two Republicans joined Democrats in passing the resolution, which calls for a probe into “one of the darkest days […]

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting. The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson, (R-La.), said that the legislation is not needed and that the […]

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges told the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. Committee Chairman David Scott, (D-Ga.), said that their testimony would help members of the committee work to […]

Congresswoman’s tweet on Israel, U.S. prompts dispute among House Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday faced a backlash from Democratic colleagues, including a Virginia congresswoman, and leaders in the House after she tweeted a video of a virtual exchange she had with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. But some House Democratic allies also rose to Omar’s […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating water contaminants

By: - June 10, 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 […]