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.

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 11, 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 […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 people were killed after […]

Voting by proxy becomes business as usual in the U.S. House

By: - August 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Data from roll call votes shows that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues […]

DOJ civil rights official urges Congress to act soon on voting rights

By: - August 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official on Monday stressed the need for Congress to pass  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis in order to protect voting rights across the United States. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke told lawmakers that since a 2013 Supreme Court […]

U.S. Senate to try again on voting rights in September

By: - August 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S.1, known […]

Riggleman says advising Jan. 6 panel ‘one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life’

By: - August 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman will serve as a nonpartisan senior staff member on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. “Doing this might be one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in a video he posted to Twitter. “We can’t worry […]

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 […]