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.

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the […]

Michigan legislators rally in D.C., urge Congress to act on voting rights

By: and - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats joined with dozens of state legislators at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday afternoon, demanding that the Senate skip August recess and pass critical voting rights legislation in reaction to Republican-led states that have adopted restrictive voting laws. Dozens of legislators from North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas, […]

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The Biden administration […]

‘It’s a tinderbox situation’: Governors ask Biden for better wildfire prevention

By: - August 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met virtually with governors from Western and Midwestern states last week to discuss how federal intervention can best aid states battling wildfires, amid complaints from states about federal forest management. “We’ve got big, complex wildfires burning across multiple areas,” Biden said on Friday. “We’re in for a long fight this […]

House Dems to unveil revamped voting rights bill named for the late John Lewis

By: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats plan to next week unveil a new version of legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that could protect voting rights across the U.S. During a Friday press conference, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said that House Democrats are expected to introduce a […]

Klobuchar: Senate Dems ‘very close’ to a deal on revised voting rights bill

By: - July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that lawmakers attempting to negotiate a compromise elections overhaul bill are “very close to an agreement” on legislation, as Democrats struggle to respond to restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states. Klobuchar, the chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, has been meeting with other […]

Internet crackdown in Cuba frustrates families, friends in the U.S.

By: - July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is still trying to restore internet access cut off by the Cuban government after thousands of protesting Afro-Cubans took to the island’s streets calling for democratic reform. Florida lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are lobbying the administration to support the protests, as well as quickly get internet access back to […]

U.S. Senate advances contentious nomination for public lands post

By: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday agreed 50-49 to bring to the floor the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to head the Bureau of Land Management, following weeks of GOP attacks over her ties to a 1989 tree-spiking scheme. Due to a deadlocked 10-10 vote out of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Senate Majority Leader […]

Dems detail being on the front lines of state voting rights struggles

By: - July 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — State Democratic legislators last week outlined their efforts to not only protect voting rights, but also expand them in their Republican-controlled state legislatures. During a Tuesday panel discussion, state lawmakers from Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida discussed how they’ve fought against restrictive elections measures introduced and passed in their legislatures. This year […]

U.S. House passes Dingell bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Fred Upton […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in voting rights protest in D.C.

By: - July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. […]