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 confirms Rep. Marcia Fudge as HUD secretary

By: - March 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio in a 66-34 vote to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to swear in Fudge at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Fudge, a Democrat who represents the 11th Congressional District, will be the second Black woman to […]

U.S. Capitol Photo by Senate Democrats 2020 CC BY 2.0

Senate passes coronavirus relief aid; bill now returns to the House

By: - March 6, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan Saturday afternoon after wrangling over an amendment to trim unemployment benefits derailed the bill’s passage for nearly an entire day. The Senate version, which does not include a federal minimum wage hike and puts limits on the funding for state and local governments, […]

Shalanda Young | CSPAN

OMB deputy nominee Young praised for bipartisan work

By: - March 4, 2021

Shalanda Young went through another confirmation hearing as the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as House leaders and caucuses are pushing the Biden administration to nominate her instead to lead the agency.  “This position requires someone with a history of looking beyond partisanship,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R- Louisiana) […]

Miguel Cardona (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Senate confirms Cardona as education secretary

By: - March 1, 2021

Senate confirms MIguel Cardona as education secretary

The U.S. Capitol. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sprawling $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill passed by the U.S. House

By: - February 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House on a nearly party-line vote passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package early Saturday, in a rush to both boost COVID-19 vaccine funding and get legislation to the president’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, passed 219-212. It includes a gradual increase […]

Former (and possibly future) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack moderates a panel of former Secretaries of Agriculture at the 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Moving Agriculture Forward” in Arlington, VA on Feb. 23, 2012.

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as Agriculture secretary

By: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years.  But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his treatment of them […]

Raise the minimum wage Fight for $15 protest in front of McDonalds with signs and press conference

Proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage would boost paychecks

By: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—A gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase the pay of low-income workers across the U.S. but particularly in much of the South, researchers and experts predict. Florida recently voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026, but the Sunshine State is an outlier. Georgia, […]

Miguel Cardona; photo courtesy of Biden transition team

Biden nominees for education and labor posts approved by U.S. Senate panel

By: - February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—Miguel Cardona was one step closer to leading the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee moved his nomination to the full Senate for a vote.  The panel voted 17-5. Senators also voted 18-4 to advance the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as secretary […]

federal minimum wage

Outlook for $15-an-hour minimum wage boosted by new government 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 federal […]

U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge

Senate Banking advances Fudge nomination to lead HUD

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced to the full Senate the nomination of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.   The committee’s chair, Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said he’s confident that Fudge will work to address the housing crisis and prevent families from […]

Milwaukee immigration protest 2017

Biden rolls back Trump policy on separation of migrant children from their parents

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden signed three executive orders on Tuesday evening that will reverse controversial policies from the previous administration, including one that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents. Biden made it clear during the signing that he was not creating new immigration policies with the executive orders, but reversing those crafted […]

teacher at board wearing a face shield mask for math class

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 3, 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’ participation in […]