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.

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 […]

Leaders of the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, which is in the progressive tradition of Reform Judaism, say access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and Missouri's abortion ban violates their members' religious freedom. (Rebecca Rivas/The Missouri Independent)

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard. “We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that […]

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will cancel thousands of dollars in student debt and pause student loan repayments. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gives the thumbs Aug. 7, 2022, up as he leaves the Senate Chamber after passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Senate worked overnight Saturday into Sunday as they moved toward final passage of Senate budget reconciliation deal, which Senate Democrats have named The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The final vote was 51-50, with the tie-breaking vote being cast by Vice President Kamala Harris. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes of the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021, in the House Chamber in Washington, D.C. Lawmakers have proposed to change the process of certifying the electoral count. (Pool photo by Erin Scott/Getty Images)

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Health workers sit at a table at a pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinic on Aug. 3, 2022, at the West Hollywood, California, Library. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this […]

President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade of the White House on May 4, 2022, to the Oval Office. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

eviction notice

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the United States. The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and […]

U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.  “Narrowly tailored admissions policies that recognize race as […]

Flowers, plush toys and wooden crosses are placed at a memorial dedicated to the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on June 3, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside the school. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, […]

Flowers, plush toys and wooden crosses are placed at a memorial dedicated to the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on June 3, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside the school. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. House panel advances assault weapons ban on party-line vote

By: - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday passed  legislation that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, in a renewed push to ban the guns most commonly used in recent mass shootings. The party-line 25-18 vote followed recent mass shootings in which AR-15 style rifles were used — in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and […]

President-elect Joe Biden receives the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from chief nurse executive Ric Cuming on Jan. 11 at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]