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.

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 […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: Paying ransom was ‘one of the toughest decisions I have had to make’

By: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I […]

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

Congressional Republicans urge State Department to declassify documents related to the origins of the coronavirus

By: - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are pushing for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declassify documents from a research facility in China relating to the origins of the coronavirus. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, along with other GOP lawmakers, wrote a […]

Homeless students slipping through the cracks during the pandemic, congressional panel told

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Witnesses advised a U.S. House panel on how federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic. James Lane, Virginia’s state superintendent of public instruction, told the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee that that because the American Rescue Plan provided $800 […]

Virginia’s GOP congressmen largely silent on Cheney’s ouster for rejecting Trump’s ‘big lie’

By: - May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election. Virginia’s Republican House members kept mostly quiet about the vote. Saying they want to unite the party in an attempt to […]

Senators deadlock on major U.S. elections bill in committee vote

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to […]