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.

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

By: - July 9, 2021

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

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 afternoon. “The EO directs […]

All Michigan Republicans vote against U.S. House select committee to probe Jan. 6 Capitol attack

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 the […]

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

By: - June 30, 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 that the legislation is not needed and […]

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides, conservative groups

By: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers — a development that House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say […]

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Dearborn Democrat and Fred Upton, a St. Joseph Republican, was approved 33-20 […]

Senate Dems’ 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 and […]

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

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association 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. “Put simply, this […]

‘Tell the truth,’ college president says of struggle to vaccinate returning students

By: - June 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders in higher education from Florida and Louisiana on Thursday related how colleges coped with a rough year of online learning and vaccine distribution amid the pandemic, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. The hearing included Dr. Reynold Verret, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana, […]

Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The mayors of cities in Ohio, Montana and Arizona stressed the need for affordable housing to be included in any congressional infrastructure package during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Mayors Daniel Horrigan of Akron, Ohio, Cyndy Andrus of Bozeman, Mont., and Corey Woods of Tempe, […]

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

By: - June 14, 2021

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

Ilhan Omar tweet prompts dispute among House Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday faced a backlash from Democratic colleagues and leaders in the House after she tweeted a video of a virtual exchange she had with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. But some House Democratic allies also rose to Omar’s defense, saying that critics […]