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.

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 […]

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 […]