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.

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 […]

Dems move to strip committee assignments from Greene

By: and - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Rules Committee is set to meet on Wednesday to consider a resolution that would strip Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her two committee assignments. If approved for debate by the panel, the resolution would move to the floor of the Democratic-controlled House for a vote. It is […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 1, 2021

Updated, 12:21 p.m., 2/3/21 WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also […]

Hawley pushes ethics probe of U.S. Senate Dems who filed complaint over his role in the insurrection

By: - January 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Seven U.S. Senate Democrats urged the chamber’s ethics panel to investigate Sen. Josh Hawley’s role in the pro-Trump assault on the Capitol, and the Missouri Republican is now asking the committee to probe them. In a Monday letter, Hawley argued that the seven Democrats filed an improper complaint last week against him and Sen. Ted […]

Biden immigration overhaul would open door to citizenship for 11M people

By: - January 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is poised to send a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress Thursday that would lay out a path for nearly 11 million undocumented people to obtain citizenship within eight years. Immigration has been one of the toughest issues for Congress to tackle, and the legislation’s fate is unclear in a […]

Biden takes the oath of office with troops on guard and towering challenges ahead

By: , and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is now the 46th president of the United States. At noon, he took the oath of office while standing on the same platform where insurrectionists swarmed just two weeks ago as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. That violent mob of rioters damaged the U.S. Capitol, attacked police […]

A congressman and his aides armed themselves with scissors in the face of a mob. Now he wants Trump prosecuted.

By: - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle slipped a pair of scissors into his pocket as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. He didn’t tell his staff members because he didn’t want to alarm them — but also didn’t realize his three staffers made the same call. They, too, had each grabbed a pair of scissors as […]

2 Mich. Republicans join in bipartisan, historic 2nd Trump impeachment

By: , and - January 13, 2021

Updated, 6:13 p.m., 1/13/21 WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a historic second time, charging him with inciting violent rioters last week who rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, temporarily derailing the tally of presidential votes and leading to at least five deaths. Nine of Michigan’s 14-member delegation voted to impeach […]

More than 170 cases opened in federal probe of U.S. Capitol attack

By: - January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Almost a week after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, top officials at the FBI and Department of Justice held their first press conference on Tuesday to announce that they are directing prosecutors to issue a slew of sedition and conspiracy charges against pro-Trump insurrectionists. More than 170 cases have been opened […]