Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes Kansas Reflector. 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.

Republican Roger Marshall was elected in November to the U.S. Senate after defeating Democrat Barbara Bollier by leaning on Kansas' heavy GOP voter registration to overcame a financial disadvantage. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

More than half of U.S. House Republicans back Texas suit claiming election ‘irregularities’

By: - December 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — More than 100 U.S. House Republicans on Thursday backed a longshot Texas lawsuit that seeks to delay the certification of presidential election results for Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won. In asking to join the suit filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson led […]

Immigration advocates push Biden to not just bring back DACA but expand it

By: - November 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is promising to reinstate an Obama-era program that shields deportation for some undocumented people who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children. But immigration advocates are pushing for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to not just be reaffirmed but expanded, and written […]

Senators urge federal funding for state distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

By: - November 26, 2020

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen U.S. Senate Democrats are urging congressional leaders to include “robust” funding in any coronavirus relief package for states to prepare for vaccine distribution. “Dedicated funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution is especially critical now as jurisdictions are facing historic budget shortfalls amid the pandemic and funding for health departments had […]

Pompeo, Senate Republicans chime in on Trump claims of stolen election

By: - November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans in Congress are agreeing with President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him, and backing legal challenges to voting results in states won by President-elect Joe Biden. “For the integrity of the electoral process, and the system that we have chosen to effectuate our democracy, we have […]

Georgia voters could determine control of the U.S. Senate

By: - November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Control of the U.S. Senate may depend on two runoff races in Georgia, where the outcome won’t be known until early January, opening the door to a fresh round of massive campaign spending in the Peach State.  One runoff between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock is already set. While […]

Democrats reel after losses, setbacks in Congress

By: - November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — Tuesday’s election was a disaster for congressional Democrats, who were expected to pick up nearly a dozen GOP seats in the House but instead lost races while also failing to flip Senate seats held by vulnerable Republicans. The outlook for Democratic control of the Senate did not improve the day after the election, […]

Where Kansas fits in the struggle for control of the U.S. Senate

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House, capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House — an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through […]

Biden in final debate vows immigration overhaul in first 100 days as president

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday night distanced himself from the Obama administration’s handling of undocumented people that led to the highest rate of deportations of any presidency and said he would act swiftly on immigration as president. During the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Biden admitted the Obama […]

Barrett nomination advances to the U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will […]

Few precedents for presidential candidates unable to stay on the ticket

By: - October 2, 2020

President Donald Trump’s diagnosis with COVID-19 just a month before Election Day raises the question of what happens in the unlikely case a nominee is unable to continue as a candidate for the presidency. The answer is murky at best, and complicated, with little precedent to follow.  Trump arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical […]

Trump to stay ‘the next few days’ at military hospital for COVID-19 treatment

By: , and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland late Friday afternoon, where White House officials said he is expected to stay for “the next few days” for treatment of COVID-19. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Trump, who disclosed his diagnosis earlier Friday, as having […]

U.S. House passes new pandemic relief bill, but talks lag on bipartisan deal

By: - October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Thursday night narrowly passed a slimmed-down $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus relief bill that retains hundreds of billions in aid for states and local governments, boosts unemployment benefits and extends another round of $1,200 checks for each taxpayer. But the package, passed on a 214-207 vote, with 18 Democrats splitting […]