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.

Republican AGs object to U.S. Department of Education proposal on teaching about racism

By: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than two dozen Republican attorneys general are voicing their disapproval over the Department of Education’s proposed priorities for teaching K-12 students about American history and civics education because they would include references to systemic racism and how the history of slavery has shaped the U.S. The state attorneys general argue in a May 19 letter to Education Secretary […]

Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash

By: and - May 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

Experts: Homeless students slipping through the cracks during the pandemic

By: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Witnesses before a U.S. House panel on Wednesday advised lawmakers on how federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic. “While housing is critical, housing alone does not close the educational gap faced by students who have experienced homelessness,” Jennifer Erb-Downward, […]

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution, H.Res. 275, passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen […]

Liz Cheney ousted from U.S. House GOP leadership for rejecting Trump’s ‘big lie’

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election. Saying they want to unite the party in an attempt to win back the House in the 2022 midterm elections, GOP […]

Senators deadlock on major U.S. elections bill in committee vote

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to […]

Ouster of Liz Cheney from U.S. House GOP leadership gains momentum

By: - May 7, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson of Iowa said Thursday that she backs a move to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position in the House GOP, after Cheney called out fellow Republicans for spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election. Hinson and top House Republican leaders including Louisiana’s Steve Scalise are advocating for Rep. Elise […]

VP Harris touts administration’s $2T jobs plan in Wisconsin

By: - May 6, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris promoted the president’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal and toured two university research center in Milwaukee this week. Harris highlighted Tuesday the federal funding the Biden administration plan would allocate for research and development programs aimed at clean energy and climate change solutions, as well as $100 billion that would be spent […]

Warnock works to remedy decades of USDA bias against Black farmers

By: - May 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his party a […]

Biden to order $15-an-hour minimum wage for federal contract workers

By: - April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order Tuesday to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 an hour, according to senior administration officials. The order will go into effect Jan. 30 of next year, according to a fact sheet provided by the administration. Once in place through new and extended […]

Dems push federal background checks on ammunition sales

By: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require instant background checks to prevent individuals with a criminal record from illegally purchasing ammunition. The measure backed by the Democrats, known as Jaime’s Law, is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, a […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

By: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of […]