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.

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats […]

State Dems relate their experiences on the front lines of the voting rights struggle

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — State Democratic legislators on Tuesday outlined their efforts to not only protect voting rights, but also expand them in their Republican-controlled state legislatures. During a panel discussion, state lawmakers from Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida discussed how they’ve fought against restrictive elections measures introduced and passed in their legislatures. This year alone, […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in voting rights protest in D.C.

By: - July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. […]

U.S. House to vote on next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

By: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water — including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process […]

Miller-Meeks and Arizona Democrat lead push to give vets free park access

By: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa testified Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee hearing in support of bipartisan legislation that would give veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands. “No one is more worthy of experiencing open access to the incredible places that these […]

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

By: - July 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Poor People’s Campaign announced Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the People Act,” […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

By: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. She said the […]

U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In a 222-190 vote that was almost entirely party-line, just two Republicans joined Democrats in passing the resolution, which calls for a probe into “one of the […]

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

By: - June 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting. The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said the legislation is not needed and the […]

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 […]