Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Biden administration mulls continuation of student loan repayment freeze

By: - December 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats have been urging the White House to extend the freeze on student loan repayments — and administration officials now say it’s under consideration. The standoff has been one of the more noticeable splits between President Joe Biden and members of his party, who are applying intense pressure to provide more borrower […]

Biden’s big social spending bill caught in snags in the Senate

By: - December 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s giant social and climate spending bill on Thursday night appeared stalled in the U.S. Senate for some time to come, a deep frustration for congressional Democrats who aimed to pass the ambitious package by the Christmas recess. At risk also is a temporary expansion of the child tax credit, the […]

Democratic governors press U.S. Senate to act on voting rights legislation

By: - December 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Seventeen Democratic governors are urging the U.S. Senate to pass two bills that aim to protect voting rights. Both measures need 60 votes to advance under Senate rules but have been stalled by Republican opposition in the evenly divided Senate. “Without decisive action by the federal government this year to protect voters’ access […]

House Republicans slam treatment of Jan. 6 defendants held at D.C. jail

By: - December 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Four House Republicans held a Tuesday press conference to complain about the poor conditions at a District of Columbia jail housing inmates charged with violence in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But a District of Columbia advocate for prison reform in an interview said that jail and another […]

Investigation urged of doctor who operated on immigrant women in detention

By: - December 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Two congressional panels are calling for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to investigate a doctor who was accused of performing gynecological procedures on immigrant women in a Georgia detention center without their consent or full understanding of the treatment being performed. In a Dec. 3 letter, Democrats on the House Homeland Security and Oversight […]

Women would sign up for the military draft under defense bill in Congress

By: - December 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — As the Senate works to finalize a major annual defense measure, there is a bipartisan push to include a requirement that all young Americans — including women — register for the military draft. The $777.9 billion measure, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022, also would allocate millions to cleaning up toxic chemicals at […]

U.S. Supreme Court considers new limits on abortions in Mississippi case

By: and - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing potentially sweeping changes to the right to an abortion, after two hours of arguments Wednesday on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court’s conservatives, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared through their questions to be sympathetic to Mississippi’s arguments that its […]

Protesters rally at Supreme Court as justices hear landmark abortion case

By: - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Lucia Ruta remembers a time when abortions were illegal. A native of Washington, D.C., she says she received an abortion in a back alley when she was 16, in the 1960s. “The doctor told me that if I made as so much a whimper, he was going to stop and kick me out,” […]

House Dems mull how to address Boebert’s anti-Muslim remarks

By: - November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that Democrats are weighing what to do about Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado in connection with anti-Muslim comments she made about a colleague in the House. “We’re considering what action ought to be taken,” said Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, at a briefing with reporters. […]

covid-19 cell pastel

White House imposes travel restrictions for Africa amid new COVID-19 variant

By: - November 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House is set to announce travel restrictions to eight countries in Southern Africa on Monday due to the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, according to senior administration officials. The World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 variant as a “variant of concern” due to its high mutation and transmission rate, and […]

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

By: - November 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of the […]

American flag flying with U.S. Capitol in the background.

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

By: , and - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate. Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, […]