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.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gives the thumbs up as he leaves the Senate Chamber after passage of the Inflation Reduction Act at the U.S. Capitol

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

An electron microscope image, colorized, depicting a monkeypox virus specimen. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery | CDC via Wikimedia Commons)

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox 

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns.  “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this […]

United States Capitol by night, Washington, USA reflected in a pond

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

Man being evicted from his home or apartment with all the property tossed outside

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S.  The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising […]

Young woman graduate | iStock / Getty Images Plus

U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.  “Narrowly tailored admissions policies that recognize race as […]

US Supreme Court building

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

By: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts on Thursday warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the […]

a table filled with guns of many types

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - July 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, […]

US map made out of guns gun control NRA

U.S. House panel advances assault weapons ban on party-line vote

By: - July 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday passed  legislation that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, in a renewed push to ban the guns most commonly used in recent mass shootings. The party-line 25-18 vote followed recent mass shootings in which AR-15 style rifles were used — in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and […]

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JANUARY 11: President-elect Joe Biden receives the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination from Chief Nurse Executive Ric Cuming at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital. Biden received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine three weeks after his first dose, received a few days before Christmas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. up close reading Equal Justice Under Law

Progressives renew call for U.S. Supreme Court expansion after abortion rights decision

By: - July 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. House Democrats Monday called for the passage of legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court, following the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that provided the constitutional right to abortion.  “It’s an ultra-right-wing Republican Supreme Court,” Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia said during a […]

AZ abortion rights protest

Pregnant patients without access to abortion face a ‘death sentence,’ U.S. House panel told 

By: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday that pregnant patients who can’t obtain abortions will face higher mortality rates if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term.  “It is essentially a death sentence,” Michele Bratcher Goodwin, the chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, told lawmakers. Democratic state […]