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.

Up to 100 new immigration judges would be added under Biden budget request

By: - April 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s budget proposal would increase the number of immigration judges and allocate millions in funding to clear backlogs of hearings and asylum requests. The administration is grappling with an influx of asylum seekers at the Southern border after inheriting a gutted immigration system from the Trump administration. Boosted funding for immigration […]

U.S. gun violence an ‘international embarrassment,’ Biden says in rolling out executive action

By: - April 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday reiterated his call on Congress to pass stalled gun legislation reform but also outlined executive action he’s taking on several gun control measures, following deadly mass shootings last month in Colorado and Georgia. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said […]

Biden administration to suggest model ‘red flag’ gun laws for states

By: - April 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice will distribute model “red flag” legislation to states so they can enact laws that would allow courts to temporarily remove a firearm from an individual who is distressed, according to senior Biden administration officials. “The president will not wait for Congress to act before the administration takes our own […]

Police officer dead after suspect rams car into barricade outside U.S. Capitol

By: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — One U.S. Capitol Police officer was dead and another injured Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol and struck the officers, according to law enforcement. The officer who died was identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans by police. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United […]

A voter asked Biden to cancel student debt. She’s not giving up.

By: - April 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joycelyn Fish drove through several feet of snow that blanketed Wisconsin one February night so she could get to a nationally televised town hall and question President Joe Biden about the crush of student debt. The blunt reply she got from Biden — that he wouldn’t take action to eliminate $50,000 in debt […]

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

By: - April 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box. The hearing in the House Administration Committee’s elections subcommittee also served as a way […]

Biden to unveil $2T plan to rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, move to clean energy

By: - March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will unveil a nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package Wednesday to rebuild highways and bridges, along with funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years, an administration official told reporters. Alongside the expansive infrastructure plan, the president will release a blueprint to […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

By: - March 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

Biden calls on Senate to act on background checks after mass shooting in Colorado

By: - March 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation to close loopholes on background checks for guns and to ban assault weapons, following a mass shooting that killed 10 at a Colorado supermarket. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue.” Biden’s remarks […]

U.S. Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general

By: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Merrick Garland to serve as U.S. attorney general in a 70-30 vote. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination in a 15-7 vote. Garland served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As attorney general, he’ll lead […]

Senate confirms Marcia Fudge as HUD secretary

By: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio in a 66-34 vote to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to swear in Fudge at 4:30 p.m. CT Wednesday. Fudge, a Democrat who represents the 11th Congressional District, will be the second […]

Senate passes coronavirus relief aid; bill now returns to the House

By: - March 6, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan Saturday afternoon after wrangling over an amendment to trim unemployment benefits derailed the bill’s passage for nearly an entire day. The Senate version, which does not include a federal minimum wage hike and puts limits on the funding for state and local governments, […]