Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, including 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. 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.

Immigration protections in Biden’s social spending bill face a new test in the Senate

By: - November 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of […]

Rep. Veronica Escobar

Immigrants make last-ditch plea for deportation protections, work permits in Build Back Better

By: - November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Undocumented workers and immigration advocates are pushing for Democrats to keep work permits and protections from deportations in the final version of the $1.85 trillion social spending and climate package that the U.S. House is set to vote on as soon as Thursday night. Those immigration provisions face elimination when the bill moves […]

U.S. House censures Arizona’s Paul Gosar, boots him from committees

By: and - November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted 223-207 Wednesday to censure Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments, following his social media post of a manipulated cartoon that depicted him attacking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden. Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois voted […]

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion […]

U.S. House sends $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to Biden; Omar votes against measure

By: and - November 6, 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 […]

What’s in — and out — of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 28, 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 […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

By: - October 27, 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 […]

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 […]

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

By: - September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 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 […]

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

By: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

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 […]