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.

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

By: - May 22, 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 […]

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 […]

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

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic, members of Congress heard this week. “While housing is critical, housing alone does not close the educational gap faced by students who have experienced homelessness,” Jennifer Erb-Downward, a senior research associate at Poverty […]

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen Republicans […]

Liz Cheney ousted from U.S. House GOP leadership for rejecting Trump’s ‘big lie’

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election. Saying they want to unite the party in an attempt to win back the House in the 2022 midterm elections, GOP […]

Senators deadlock in committee vote on major U.S. elections bill

By: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to […]

Hinson, Scalise support ouster of Liz Cheney from U.S. House GOP leadership

By: - May 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson of Iowa said Thursday that she backs a move to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position in the House GOP, after Cheney called out fellow Republicans for spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election. Hinson and top House Republican leaders, including Louisiana’s Steve Scalise, are advocating for […]

VP Harris touts administration’s $2T jobs plan as negotiations are set for next week

By: - May 4, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris worked Tuesday to drum up support for the president’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal during a trip to Milwaukee. Harris highlighted the federal funding the Biden administration plan would allocate for research and development programs aimed at clean energy and climate change solutions, as well as $100 billion that would be spent […]

Warnock works to remedy decades of USDA discrimination against Black farmers

By: - May 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his […]

Biden orders $15-an-hour minimum wage for federal contract workers

By: - April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 an hour. The order will go into effect Jan. 30 of next year, according to a fact sheet provided by the administration. Once in place through new and extended contracts, the wage will automatically adjust to […]

Federal background checks on ammunition sales pushed by Democrats

By: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require instant background checks to prevent individuals with a criminal record from illegally purchasing ammunition. The measure backed by the Democrats, known as Jaime’s Law, is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who […]

Georgia voting law pummeled at U.S. Senate hearing on ‘Jim Crow 2021’

By: - April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Georgia’s new voting law was at the center of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where senators discussed restoration of a key section in the Voting Rights Act that would prevent states, mostly in the South, from changing their election laws without federal approval. During the more than four-hour hearing, witnesses opposed to the […]