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.

What’s in the COVID-19 relief bill, and what’s not in it

By: and - December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congress is set to pass a massive bipartisan emergency relief bill that’s intended to aid Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summaries from House Democratic appropriators say it includes: Direct payments —$166 billion in another round of economic impact payments that will go directly to Americans. —$600 stimulus checks for individuals that begin […]

Minnesotan Denis McDonough joins Biden cabinet as secretary of Veterans Affairs

By: - December 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he will nominate U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Minnesota native Denis McDonough to join his Cabinet.  If confirmed by the Senate, Fudge will lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the second Black woman to head the $50 billion agency, and Vilsack […]

Rep. Dean Phillips among bipartisan group pitching new COVID-19 relief bill

By: - December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON—More than a dozen U.S. House and Senate members including Minnesota DFL U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips are pushing for a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package to aid struggling states and local governments and fund programs such as unemployment and rental assistance that are set to expire later this month. During a Tuesday press conference, lawmakers unveiled […]

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith urge federal funding for state distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

By: - November 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen U.S. Senate Democrats are urging congressional leaders to include “robust” funding in any coronavirus relief package for states to prepare for vaccine distribution. “Dedicated funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution is especially critical now as jurisdictions are facing historic budget shortfalls amid the pandemic and funding for health departments had […]

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House, capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House — an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through […]

Biden in final debate vows an immigration overhaul in his first 100 days as president

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday night distanced himself from the Obama administration’s handling of undocumented people that led to the highest rate of deportations of any presidency and said he would act swiftly on immigration as president. During the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Biden admitted that the […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) delivers remarks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a mark up hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Sept. 28, 2018.

Klobuchar questions Supreme Court nominee Barrett on rolling back abortion rights

By: - October 13, 2020

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar pressed Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday about why she doesn’t classify the landmark case that allows pregnant women to choose to have an abortion as “super precedent,” meaning Roe v. Wade would never be overturned. Barrett told the Minnesota Democrat that scholars have noted that even though Roe v. Wade isn’t […]

President Donald Trump and Pete Stauber, then a Republican candiate for the US House

Stauber faces health care advocate Nystrom in 8th District reelection campaign

By: - October 8, 2020

A Democrat has represented northeast Minnesota in Congress for nearly a century, aside from a single term in 2011. And then U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber rode a wave of political change in the region in 2018 to win election as a Republican despite a difficult year for the GOP in Minnesota and most of the […]

Trump tests positive for COVID-19, enters quarantine

By: , and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, throwing the presidential campaign into a new uproar. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted. Late Thursday, Bloomberg News had reported that Hope Hicks, a close aide to Trump, had […]

Trump tells far-right group to ‘stand back and stand by’ in presidential debate

By: - September 30, 2020

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Tuesday night’s chaotic and messy presidential debate were each asked how they would deal with the nation’s institutional racism. Trump directly addressed a far-right group, the Proud Boys, telling them to “stand back and stand by,” and failed to answer a question about why Americans should […]

U.S. House passes deal on stopgap funding, avoids government shutdown

By: - September 23, 2020

House and Senate leaders reached a bipartisan agreement Tuesday night to pass a three-month funding stopgap, averting a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic and a short time before the November elections. In a 359-57 vote, the House passed H.R. 8337, which extends federal government funding until Dec. 11, when lawmakers would have to renew it again. The […]