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.

Garnell Whitfield Jr. (center), son of Ruth Whitfield, who died in the mass shooting in Buffalo's Tops supermarket, walks with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), left, and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) after a hearing on gun violence June 7, 2022, before Senate Judiciary Committee at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

‘My mom’s life mattered’: Son of Black shooting victim urges Congress to act

By: - June 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The son of a Black woman shot and killed by a white supremacist begged members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to take action against such domestic terrorism. The gunman in Buffalo, New York, was motivated by the “great replacement theory,” a racist conspiracy theory that claims growing numbers of immigrants […]

Advocates for $15-an-hour federal minimum wage press Biden for a meeting

By: - June 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Poor People’s Campaign is urging President Joe Biden to meet with low-income workers before the organization’s march on Washington, D.C., on June 18 to advocate for a $15 federal minimum wage. “What we cannot do is be silent anymore,” Rev. William Barber II, the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said during […]

Law enforcement officers speak together outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the gunman fatally shot by law enforcement. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Fourth grader who survived Uvalde school shooting will testify before Congress

By: - June 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of two horrific mass shootings in New York and Texas will appear before the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday to relate their experiences with gun violence. The witnesses will include fourth grader Miah Cerrillo of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were gunned down at Robb Elementary […]

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the recent mass shootings on June 2, 2022, from the White House in Washington, D.C. In a prime-time address, Biden spoke on the need for Congress to pass gun control legislation following a wave of mass shootings, including the killing of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a racially motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 dead. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Biden urges assault weapons ban, as U.S. House Democrats advance gun control bills

By: - June 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass gun control legislation in a speech at the White House Thursday evening, following mass shootings in New York, Texas and Oklahoma during the last three weeks. “This isn’t about taking away anyone’s rights. This is about protecting children,” Biden said. “How much more carnage are […]

Proposed legislation in the U.S. House would raise the age of purchasing semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21, create new requirements for storing guns in a home with children, prevent gun trafficking, require all firearms to be traceable, and close the loophole on bump stocks, among other things. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Gun control bills to be taken up by U.S. House panel in emergency meeting

By: - May 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — Following mass shootings in New York and Texas, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday to mark up gun control legislation — though it’s likely doomed. The package includes eight gun-related bills, known as the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” and they are expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House. […]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the U.S. Congress by video on March 16, 2022, at the U.S. Capitol to plead for support as his country is besieged by Russian forces. (J. Scott Applewhite/Getty Images)

Russia says ‘nyet’ to any more visits from hundreds of members of Congress

By: - May 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of members of Congress are permanently banned from visiting Russia, in retaliation for passing economic sanctions on the country after it invaded Ukraine in late February. The list of nearly 1,000 Americans includes President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with celebrities such as actor Morgan Freeman, executives such as […]

People gather outside of Tops market on May 15, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. A gunman opened fire at the store, killing 10 people and wounding another three. Suspect Payton Gendron was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder for what authorities described as a racially motivated hate crime. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate Republicans block bill requiring agencies monitor domestic terrorism

By: - May 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that would require federal agencies to monitor domestic terrorism incidents, including those potentially related to white supremacy. The failure of the Senate procedural vote showed again how difficult it is for Congress to agree on any response to U.S. gun violence. It followed a racist […]

People gather outside of Tops market on May 15, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. A gunman opened fire at the store, killing 10 people and wounding another three. Suspect Payton Gendron was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder for what authorities described as a racially motivated hate crime. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate Republicans block bill requiring agencies monitor domestic terrorism

By: - May 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that would require federal agencies to monitor domestic terrorism incidents, including those potentially related to white supremacy. The failure of the Senate procedural vote showed again how difficult it is for Congress to agree on any response to U.S. gun violence. It followed a racist […]

Frustrated Democrats call for GOP help on federal gun laws after mass school shooting

By: - May 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday implored Senate Republicans to work with Democrats to pass bipartisan gun control legislation, following a mass school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Texas. Tuesday’s massacre was the nation’s second-deadliest mass school shooting since another at Sandy Hook Elementary […]

In the past nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned at an alarming rate. A majority of the bans feature books written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

By: - May 22, 2022

Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting and destroying […]

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

By: - May 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel during a Thursday hearing the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the […]

Supporters of women's reproductive rights gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on May 3, 2022, in protest of a leaked draft ruling that shows the court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

Overturning Roe would hand power over abortion to states. Many would ban it.

By: and - May 4, 2022

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a nearly 50-year-old right to abortion would lead to strict restrictions or bans by states across nearly half the country almost immediately. The court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, as well as a subsequent ruling on fetal viability, according to an initial […]