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.

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits

By: - June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers — a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say […]

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It […]

GOP senators block debate on Dems election reform, voting rights bill

By: - June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections reform and voting rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster […]

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. “Put simply, this […]

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges laid out to the House Agriculture Committee how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., said their testimony would help members of the committee work to […]

apartment building, housing

Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

By: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Mayors of cities around the country 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 said that […]

Justice Department to increase staff amid surge in restrictive voting laws

By: - June 12, 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 […]

Ilhan Omar tweet prompts dispute among congressional Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday faced a backlash from Democratic colleagues and leaders in the House 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 also rose to Omar’s defense, saying […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to act on PFAS

By: - June 9, 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 […]

Bill of rights for residents of manufactured housing introduced in Congress

By: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is pushing for tenants’ rights to extend to residents of manufactured housing communities to protect them from predatory rent hikes. The Iowa Democrat introduced two pieces of legislation last week. One bill aims to establish a set of minimum standards and protections for tenants of manufactured housing communities, which are […]

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 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 […]

Congressional Democrats scrutinize state elections laws for effect on minority voters

By: - May 24, 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 […]