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.

Biden calls on Senate to act on background checks after Colorado mass shooting

By: - March 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation to close loopholes on background checks for guns and to ban assault weapons, following a mass shooting that killed 10 at a Colorado supermarket. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue.” Biden’s remarks […]

Senate passes coronavirus relief, bill now returns to the House

By: - March 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan Saturday afternoon after wrangling over an amendment to trim unemployment benefits derailed the bill’s passage for nearly an entire day. The Senate version, which does not include a federal minimum wage hike and puts limits on the funding for state and […]

OMB deputy nominee Young praised for bipartisan work

By: - March 5, 2021

Shalanda Young went through another confirmation hearing as the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, as House leaders and caucuses are pushing the Biden administration to nominate her instead to lead the agency. “This position requires someone with a history of looking beyond partisanship,” U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said during […]

6 Michigan Republicans vote against sweeping voting rights package that passes U.S. House

By: and - March 4, 2021

The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. All seven Michigan Democrats backed the bill and six Republicans voted against it. U.S. Rep. Jack […]

Michigan delegation split 7-7 on $1.9T COVID relief bill vote

By: and - February 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on a nearly party-line vote passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package early Saturday, in a rush to both boost COVID-19 vaccine funding and get legislation to the president’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, passed 219-212. It includes a gradual […]

U.S. Senate confirms Granholm as Energy secretary

By: - February 25, 2021

Updated, 6:02 p.m., 2/25/21 WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday in a 64-35 vote confirmed former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to run the Department of Energy. She is the second woman to lead the $35 billion agency. Vice President Kamala Harris swore in Granholm several hours after the Senate confirmation vote. Her husband, daughter […]

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

By: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery, the same day that House Democrats held a hearing on legislation that would set up a reparations commission. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by […]

Proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage would boost paychecks

By: - February 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — A gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase the pay of low-income workers across the United States but particularly in much of the South, researchers and experts predict. Florida recently voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026, but the Sunshine State is […]

Outlook for $15/hour minimum wage boosted by new govt. report

By: - February 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in a report Monday found a gradual increase to a $15 federal minimum wage by 2025 would reduce poverty, add $54 billion to the deficit over a decade and increase pay for millions of low-income workers. The report could help Democrats make a strong case for including a gradual […]

Election reform to return as a priority for Dems in Congress

By: - February 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats who control Congress by narrow margins and the White House are making a fresh attempt to move forward a massive package that tackles dark money in campaigns, voter suppression and election security. The architect of the bill, Rep. John Sarbanes, said in an interview that the tumultuous 2020 election was a perfect […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The president’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ […]

Stabenow: Vilsack is ‘one step closer’ to taking back reins at USDA

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. “We are one step closer to confirming Secretary Vilsack so […]