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.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on COVID-19 on July 27, 2022, in the Rose Garden at the White House. President Biden’s doctor announced Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 and will return to in-person work. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Puerto Rico to get $60M to prep for future hurricanes, Biden announces

By: - October 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday landed in Ponce, Puerto Rico to survey the damage from Hurricane Fiona and announce $60 million in funding to help the island prepare for future hurricanes. The visit came after the Category 1 hurricane in late September damaged the power grid, leaving millions in Puerto Rico without power. […]

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - October 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a Thursday hearing grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people. “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chairman of the committee, Illinois […]

Hurricane Ian damage in Matlacha, Florida

Biden to battered Florida: ‘We’re going to do everything we can for you’

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Friday afternoon, focusing on uniting the country as Florida begins to survey the damage left by a Category 4 hurricane, while states further up the coast prepare for the impact from Hurricane Ian. “As you all know, the situation in Florida is far more devastating,” Biden said. […]

Rev. Dr. William Barber

Faith leaders urge minimum wage hike, expanded child tax credit as Congress nears recess

By: - September 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders pressed Congress to pass voting rights legislation, a $15 minimum wage and a permanent expansion of the child tax credit during a Thursday briefing on Capitol Hill. “Poverty is a policy choice,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said to lawmakers. Barber, who is the pastor of […]

Police clash with supporters of President Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Alex Kent/Tennessee Lookout)

U.S. House passes bill reforming Electoral Count Act to stop Jan. 6 repeat

By: - September 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed on Wednesday a bill updating a 19th-century law in an attempt to prevent the subversion of future presidential elections. The Presidential Election Reform Act, which passed 229-203, is meant to deter a repeat of the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in which the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a […]

U.S. government failed to properly count deaths of people in prisons and jails, Senate report says

By: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not properly count nearly 1,000 deaths of incarcerated people in jails and prisons, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee. The 10-month investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff, found that […]

Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" was among more than two dozen books removed last month from a school library at Goddard following a challenge by a parent. The books have since been returned to the shelves. (Max McCoy/Kansas Reflector)

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

By: - September 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

Topsoil protection should be stressed in the next farm bill, U.S. House Ag panel told

By: - September 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — Farmers and academics at a Wednesday hearing stressed the need for members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to support regenerative agriculture farming practices in the upcoming farm bill to protect topsoil. U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott said he held the hearing to discuss ways policymakers and the Department of Agriculture […]

U.S. House members discussed ways to prevent incarceration of children during a hearing. (Alex Potemkin/Getty Images)

Congressional panel debates federal role in preventing youth incarceration

By: - September 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of a U.S. House Education and Labor Committee panel on Thursday questioned experts and leaders of youth rehabilitation programs about how the federal government could invest in programs to prevent kids from becoming incarcerated. “Although the juvenile justice system is intended to rehabilitate — not punish — young offenders, data shows that […]

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona takes a tour Aug. 9, 2021, of Topeka High School's vaccine clinic with second gentleman Douglass Emhoff. (Pool photo by Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal)

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

By: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief announcement in late August. The White […]

Most Republican candidates for statewide and federal office skipped The Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at this year’s Iowa State Fair. (Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Candidates, mostly Republican, skip debates, bar press during midterm campaigns

By: - September 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — With two months left of the 2022 campaign season, a majority of Republican candidates are continuing to skirt away from not only talking to local and national media outlets about their policy issues, but their own constituents, leaving voters with little information on their policy positions. “If we are to hold our elected […]

A month removed from the vaccine receiving emergency use authorization for children younger than 5, doctors with the University of Kansas Health System say many pediatricians offices are running out of the shot. (Getty Images)

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

By: - September 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and […]