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.

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

By: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a former Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged […]

Kamala Harris voting rights listening session civil rights

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Latino children playing

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where […]

Day three of the nine day march to Wisconsin's capital, demanding immigration reform from the federal government. (Photo | Joe Brusky)

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

By: - September 6, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a Temporary […]

Evacuate Afghans Now protest demonstration

U.S. military has left Afghanistan; evacuation of Americans and Afghans moves into next phase

By: - August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Even as the last military planes left Kabul, members of Congress were still trying to facilitate the evacuations of more Americans and Afghans. Reps. Jason Crow (D-Co.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) are leading efforts to supply names and contacts of Afghans who helped the U.S. in the last 20 years […]

Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi

Voting by proxy becomes business as usual in the U.S. House

By: - August 20, 2021

WASHINGTON —Data from roll call votes shows that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to […]

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Signage at an early voting center on September 23, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

DOJ civil rights official urges Congress to act soon on voting rights

By: - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—A top Justice Department official on Monday stressed the need for Congress to pass  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis in order to protect voting rights across the United States. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke told lawmakers that since a 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck […]

U.S. Senate to try again on voting rights in September

By: - August 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S.1, […]

Shortages of jet fuel and truck drivers hampering wildfire fight

By: - August 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—Bipartisan U.S. senators from the West, including Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and James Risch, are urging the Biden administration to coordinate across agencies to help Western states with shortages of fuel that are preventing firefighters from using aircraft to fight wildfires. “We are concerned that fuel shortages could lead to the grounding of federal, state, […]

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 time they […]