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.

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

By: - March 4, 2021

The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim majority […]

Sprawling $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill passed by the U.S. House

By: - February 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on a nearly party-line vote passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package early Saturday, in a rush to both boost COVID-19 vaccine funding and get legislation to the president’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, passed 219-212. It includes a gradual […]

CDC issues detailed guidance for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released updated guidance to provide educators a science-based plan for reopening K-12 schools. The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet are key to mitigating the […]

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

By: - February 9, 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 […]

Biden rolls back Trump policy on separation of migrant children from parents

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 […]

U.S. Senate Agriculture panel approves Vilsack as agriculture secretary in bipartisan vote

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 inequities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department for eight years during the […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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 […]

Missouri senator pushes ethics probe of Democrats, including Kaine, who filed complaint against him

By: - January 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Seven U.S. Senate Democrats, including Virginia’s Tim Kaine, 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 […]

Biden immigration overhaul would open a door to citizenship for 11 million people

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is poised to send a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress Thursday that would lay out a path for nearly 11 million undocumented people to obtain citizenship within eight years. Immigration has been one of the toughest issues for Congress to tackle, and the legislation’s fate is unclear in a […]

President Biden urges a divided nation to ‘end this uncivil war’ in inaugural address

By: and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Calling on Americans to bridge the widening divisions in the country, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, completing the transition of presidential power on the same stage where a violent mob just two weeks ago sought to prevent him from taking office. Standing before an unusually small […]

Biden takes the oath of office with troops on guard and towering challenges ahead

By: and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States at noon, when he will take the oath of office while standing on the same platform where insurrectionists swarmed just two weeks ago as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. That violent mob of rioters damaged the […]

U.S. House votes to again impeach Trump, as a ‘clear and present danger’

By: and - January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with inciting violent rioters last week who rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, temporarily derailing the tally of presidential votes and leading to at least five deaths. The 232-197 vote concluded a swift, truncated process in the House, with Democrats […]