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.

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 divided Senate. […]

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 enough support from […]

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 virus, […]

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the United States, witnesses told a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday. The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising rents mean that tenants […]

U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. “Narrowly tailored admissions policies that recognize race as one criterion — out […]

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, as the ban […]

Democrats in Congress press Biden to extend pause on student loans

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON  — More than 100 congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond the Aug. 31 deadline. In a Thursday letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Senate and House Democrats argue that due to inflation and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student loan […]

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts on Thursday warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the Chicago-Kent […]

Gun company CEOs tell Congress they’re not to blame for mass shootings

By: - July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — The CEOs of major gun manufacturing companies told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday that their production of AR-15-style guns did not contribute to recent mass shootings that left 29 people dead, and that the killings were due to the actions of individual shooters. Ahead of the hearing, the House Oversight & Reform […]

U.S. House panel advances assault weapons ban on party-line vote

By: - July 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has passed legislation that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, in a renewed push to ban the guns most commonly used in recent mass shootings. The party-line 25-18 vote followed recent mass shootings in which AR-15 style rifles were used — in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two […]