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.

A water town printed with Jackson in Minnesota water utility with tree tops below

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, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, […]

Group of women gathered in front of the Supreme Court in DC advocating to pass a voting rights bill

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

By: - July 20, 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. “What we […]

Firefighters and trucks and helicopter putting out a gasoline fire with firefighting foam flooding the lot

U.S. House moves to expand PFAS regulation, state bill moves backward

By: and - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of […]

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point | National Park Service

A bipartisan push to expand veterans’ free access to national parks

By: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Last year, the U.S. National Park Service made annual visits to national parks free for veterans and active duty service members, but the bill, H.R. 4300, would codify that annual pass into law, to be used throughout their lives. U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa testified Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee hearing in […]

Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol May 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Poor People’s Campaign held the news conference to call for a congressional resolution "to address poverty and low wages." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

By: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the People Act,” […]

Kamala Harris smiling

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

By: - July 9, 2021

WASHINGTON—Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national election overhaul […]

Meat at a grocery store in Fairfax, Virginia. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon.  “The EO directs USDA to […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Rioters enter the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Trump encouraged the protesters to come to Washington and addressed them decrying the "stolen" election. Now a group of Democrats is seeking his impeachment. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In a 222-190 vote that was almost entirely party-line, just two Republicans joined Democrats in passing the resolution, which calls for a probe into “one of the darkest […]

Voting Rights Amendment Act rally in Capitol Hill in June 2014 in Washington, D.C. after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down preclearance requirements in Georgia and other states.

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting.  The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson, (R-La.), said that the legislation is not needed and that the […]

PFAS sample testing bottles | Photo by Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It would […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leaves the Senate chamber during a brief recess during the impeachment trial proceedings at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump resumed on Tuesday and is expected to last several weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats’ voting rights push stalls in the face of GOP opposition

By: - June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections reform and voting rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster and advance. […]

A woman wearing sports clothing sprinting off the starting blocks on an outdoor running track.

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. “Put simply, this […]