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.

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 […]

Shelby v Holder rally

Justice Department to increase legal staff amid surge in restrictive voting laws

By: - June 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice announced Friday that it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement came as Republicans in state legislatures introduce and pass restrictive voting laws, such as limiting ballot boxes and requiring voter identification. “We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to […]

Frustrated local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating PFAS

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—Local officials and community leaders on Wednesday pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards.   In addition, two Democratic senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at military […]

Mobil homes in a spartan park lit from within at night

Bill of rights for residents of manufactured housing introduced in Congress

By: and - June 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is pushing for tenants’ rights to extend to residents of manufactured housing communities to protect them from predatory rent hikes. The Iowa Democrat introduced two pieces of legislation last week. One bill aims to establish a set of minimum standards and protections for tenants of manufactured housing communities, which are typically […]

Congressional Democrats scrutinize state elections laws for effect on minority voters

By: and - May 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—Members of a U.S. House panel on Monday debated whether some state elections laws disenfranchise certain voters, including people of color, and split along party lines in their conclusions. The chair of the elections subcommittee of the House Administration Committee, Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), voiced his concerns about recent voting requirement laws in states […]

The full U.S. House is set to vote Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Education and Labor Committee, and the Budget Committee. The outcry continues to grow over the Georgia Republican’s history of violent, racist comments and conspiracy theories. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Marjorie Taylor Greene comparison of mask-wearing and the Holocaust condemned by House GOP leader

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned remarks by Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the wearing of masks and vaccination logos to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust.  Greene, a Republican, in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network made the comparison, according to CNN, […]