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.

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

By: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the […]

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 […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 6, 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 […]

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 […]

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It would […]

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. “Put simply, this […]

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Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

By: - June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—The mayors of cities in Ohio, Montana and Arizona stressed the need for affordable housing to be included in any congressional infrastructure package during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Mayors Daniel Horrigan of Akron, Ohio; Cyndy Andrus of Bozeman, Mont.; and Corey Woods of Tempe, Ariz., all […]

Justice Department to increase legal staff amid surge in restrictive voting laws

By: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced Friday that it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement came as Republicans in state legislatures introduce and pass restrictive voting laws, such as limiting ballot boxes and requiring voter identification. “We are scrutinizing new laws that […]

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) questions witnesses during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 16, 2019

Ilhan Omar tweet prompts dispute among House Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday faced a backlash from leaders in the House and Democratic colleagues — including her fellow Minnesotan, Rep. Dean Phillips — 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 […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating PFAS

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: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’ to pay a $4.4M ransom

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 have […]

Kyrsten Sinema’s voting record in the spotlight following Biden remarks

By: - June 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday said that comments made earlier this week by President Joe Biden about “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends” were not a criticism of moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Biden did not name the senators, but they were widely considered […]