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. 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.

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

By: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee this week finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed […]

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged senators to […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

By: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 […]

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

By: - September 8, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a Temporary […]

2/3 of Michigan U.S. House members have voted by proxy during pandemic

By: and - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON —Data from roll call votes shows that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to […]

U.S. House Dems unveil new voting rights bill named for John Lewis

By: - August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — At the base of the bridge in Selma, Ala., where the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia almost died while marching for civil rights, congressional Democrats announced Tuesday the introduction of legislation that aims to protect voting rights across the country. Rep. Terri Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, unveiled what will be designated […]

House moderates won’t back Dem budget without passage of infrastructure bill

By: - August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nine moderate U.S. House Democrats including Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Jared Golden of Maine are threatening to oppose a budget resolution needed to pass a major social policy package unless a bipartisan infrastructure bill is first signed into law, according to multiple media reports. Opposition from the […]

Former GOP congressman to advise Jan. 6 investigation

By: - August 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman will serve as a nonpartisan senior staff member on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. “Doing this might be one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in a video he posted to Twitter. “We can’t worry […]