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.

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee has finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved Friday on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 […]

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

By: - September 4, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farm workers; those who hold a […]

Voting by proxy becomes business as usual in the U.S. House

By: - August 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Data from roll call votes shows that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues […]

U.S. House Dems unveil new voting rights bill named for John Lewis

By: - August 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — At the base of the bridge in Selma, Ala., where the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia almost died while marching for civil rights, congressional Democrats announced Tuesday the introduction of legislation that aims to protect voting rights across the country. Rep. Terri Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, unveiled what will be designated […]

DOJ civil rights official urges Congress to act soon on voting rights

By: - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official on Monday stressed the need for Congress to pass  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis in order to protect voting rights across the United States. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke told lawmakers that since a 2013 Supreme Court […]

U.S. House moderates won’t back Dem budget without passage of infrastructure bill

By: - August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nine moderate U.S. House Democrats are threatening to oppose a budget resolution needed to pass a major social policy package unless a bipartisan infrastructure bill is first signed into law, according to multiple media reports. Opposition from the group could stymie House Democratic leadership’s plans of passing major legislation this fall on two […]

U.S. Senate to try again on voting rights in September

By: - August 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S.1, known […]

Western senators warn of jet fuel shortages hampering wildfire fight

By: - August 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan U.S. senators from the West are urging the Biden administration to coordinate across agencies to help Western states with shortages of fuel that are preventing firefighters from using aircraft to fight wildfires. “We are concerned that fuel shortages could lead to the grounding of federal, state, and contracted aircrafts and hurt the […]

Former GOP congressman from Virginia to advise Jan. 6 investigation

By: - August 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman will serve as a nonpartisan senior staff member on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. “Doing this might be one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in a video he posted to Twitter. “We can’t worry […]

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the […]

House Dems document U.S. history of discrimination in shaping John Lewis voting rights bill

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House panel released a new report Friday that will help lawmakers craft  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination […]