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.

DACA ruled unlawful by federal appeals court, but program continues for now

By: - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has upheld a prior ruling that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unlawful, sending the case back to a lower court that will decide the legality of the program that includes more than 600,000 undocumented people. The ruling means the program remains for now and those […]

Alabama case that could limit Voting Rights Act heard at U.S. Supreme Court

By: - October 4, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that challenges an Alabama redistricting map and could potentially eliminate remaining federal safeguards against racial gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates fear that the high court’s conservative majority will further weaken the Voting Rights Act, with implications for voters in states across the […]

Statue of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman dedicated at the U.S. Capitol

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — The eldest grandson of President Harry S. Truman pulled down a black cloak to unveil a towering bronze statue of his late grandfather during a Thursday ceremony at the U.S. Capitol to dedicate the sculpture honoring the 33rd president. “My grandfather was a modest man,” Clifton Truman Daniel said. “And, frankly, slightly embarrassed […]

Biden to battered Florida: ‘We’re going to do everything we can for you’

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Friday afternoon, focusing on uniting the country as Florida begins to survey the damage left by a Category 4 hurricane, while states further up the coast prepare for the impact from Hurricane Ian.   “As you all know, the situation in Florida is far more devastating,” Biden said. […]

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a Thursday hearing grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people.  “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chair of the committee, Illinois […]

U.S. government failed to properly count deaths of people in prisons and jails, Senate report says

By: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not properly count nearly 1,000 deaths of incarcerated people in jails and prisons, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.  The 10-month investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff, found […]

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

By: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

By: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief announcement in late August. The White […]

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

U.S. Senate Democrats’ climate, health and tax bill clears first hurdle to passage

By: and - August 6, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Saturday night to advance to debate on Democrats’ sweeping energy, health and taxes bill, clearing a major hurdle to passage. The 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, cleared the chamber to debate and vote on amendments to the measure and indicated that it had […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns.  “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this […]