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.

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

By: - July 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Poor People’s Campaign announced on 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 […]

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

By: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday 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 election […]

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. “The EO directs USDA […]

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 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 […]

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 that […]

Senate Democrats’ voting rights push stalls in the face of GOP opposition

By: - June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections reform and voting rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster […]

College athletes score a big win with U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the NCAA cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. The NCAA was the […]

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges laid out to the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. Committee chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) said their testimony would help members of the committee work […]

Justice Department to increase legal staff amid surge in restrictive voting laws

By: - June 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice says it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Friday 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 seek […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating PFAS

By: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local officials and community leaders 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, have introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at military […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’ to pay a $4.4M ransom

By: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions […]

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat in the 3rd District, said the 25th Amendment should be deployed to remove President Donald Trump from office.(Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 23, 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 that […]