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.

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

By: - May 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel during a Thursday hearing the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the […]

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

U.S. House panel weighs labor law amendment to protect workers from wage theft

By: - May 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House lawmakers questioned several labor experts Wednesday before a House Education and Labor panel about how a new bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 would protect workers from wage theft. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro introduced the bill, H.R. 3712, known as the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage […]

Biden on leaked draft opinion on abortion: The ‘right to choose is fundamental’

By: - May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration “will be ready when any ruling is issued” on abortion rights, after the nation was rocked by the leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that confirmed the court is planning to overturn access to abortion.   “I believe that a woman’s right […]

EPA issues waiver for sales of 15% ethanol blend during summer driving season

By: - April 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The EPA issued a fuel waiver Friday afternoon to allow for a heightened ethanol gasoline blend to be sold at service stations this summer, an attempt by the Biden administration to lower soaring fuel prices.  In a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, EPA administrator Michael S. Regan wrote that the waiver will […]

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

By: - April 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to nearly 80 individuals charged with nonviolent crimes and unveiled an administration strategy to help formerly incarcerated people secure employment. Of that list, three were pardons and 75 were commutations, which is a reduction in an individual’s prison sentence. They were the first pardons and commutations […]

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

By: - April 18, 2022

Instructors in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to teach a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama.*  In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was […]

DOJ rule cracks down untraceable firearms known as ‘ghost guns’

By: - April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden Monday unveiled the Department of Justice’s plan to regulate untraceable firearms known as ghost guns, as well as announced his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Department of Justice’s final rule bans the business of manufacturing ghost guns, such as “buy build shoot” kits […]

‘Sitting on a time bomb’: Mobile home residents at risk in red-hot housing market

By: - April 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Jon Zang walks his dog several times a day in his mobile home community in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. It’s quiet, as most of his neighbors are at work. But he often wonders how many more walks he and his bulldog mix, Ladybug, will have down the streets of the place he’s called […]

More than 1,500 books have been banned in public schools, and a U.S. House panel asks why

By: - April 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on Thursday examined why thousands of books, predominantly written by marginalized authors, have been banned from public schools, and the impact of those actions on students and teachers. “Most books being targeted for censorship are books that introduce ideas about diversity or our common humanity, […]

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through Aug. 31

By: - April 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration Wednesday announced its plans to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan […]

Insulin price cap approved by U.S. House as Georgia’s Warnock pushes for Senate passage

By: - March 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Thursday passed a bill on a bipartisan 232-193 vote that would limit the price of insulin, as congressional Democrats met throughout the day with health care advocates to make their case for the proposal.  Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Patty Murray of Washington state held a virtual […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

By: - March 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime.  “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]