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.

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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 […]

Marjorie Taylor Greene comparison of mask-wearing and the Holocaust condemned by House GOP leader

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned remarks by Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the wearing of masks and vaccination logos to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust.  Greene, a Republican, in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network made the comparison, according to CNN, […]

Congressional Democrats scrutinize state elections laws for effect on minority voters

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of a U.S. House panel on Monday debated whether some state elections laws disenfranchise certain voters, including people of color, and split along party lines in their conclusions. The chair of the elections subcommittee of the House Administration Committee, Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., voiced his concerns about recent voting requirement laws […]

Republican AGs object to U.S. Department of Education proposal on teaching about racism

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than two dozen Republican attorneys general are voicing their disapproval over the Department of Education’s proposed priorities for teaching K-12 students about American history and civics education because they would include references to systemic racism and how the history of slavery has shaped the U.S. The state attorneys general argue in a […]

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo.  The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million […]

Congressional Republicans urge State Department to declassify documents related to the origins of the coronavirus

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are pushing for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declassify documents from a research facility in China relating to the origins of the coronavirus.  Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, along with other GOP lawmakers wrote […]

Homeless students slipping through the cracks during the pandemic, congressional panel told

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Witnesses before a U.S. House panel on Wednesday advised lawmakers on how federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic. “While housing is critical, housing alone does not close the educational gap faced by students who have experienced homelessness,” Jennifer Erb-Downward, […]