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.

Paul Gosar in a committee hearing

U.S. House censures Arizona’s Paul Gosar, boots him from committees

By: and - November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON– The U.S. House voted 223-207 Wednesday to censure Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments, following his social media post of a manipulated cartoon that depicted him attacking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden. Wisconsin’s Democratic Reps. Ron Kind, Mark Pocan and Gwen all voted for censure, […]

Parents gather in Washington, DC | Photo by Ariana Figueroa

Virginia parents, GOP lawmakers vow national push for ‘parents’ rights’ in public schools

By: - November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and Virginia parents trying to capitalize on their success in the November election on Tuesday gathered across from the U.S. Capitol to voice their opposition to mask mandates and lessons about racism taught in public schools. The ranking Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, Virginia Foxx of North […]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: U.S. President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as he is surrounded by lawmakers and members of his Cabinet during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House. The $1.2 trillion package will provide funds for public infrastructure projects including improvements to the country’s transportation networks, increasing rural broadband access, and projects to modernizing water and energy systems. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion social […]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speak to reporters at the U.S. Capitol building as the House prepares to vote on infrastructure and spending bills. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

U.S. House sends $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to Biden for his signature

By: and - November 7, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House cleared a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure bill and took a major step toward passage of a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill late Friday, following months of wrangling between Democrats’ progressive and moderate wings. The votes marked a milestone in the marathon negotiations among members of the House Democratic caucus—and […]

President Joe Biden, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the media

What’s in—and out—of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Anti-vaccine protesters stage a protest outside of the San Diego Unified School District office to protest a forced vaccination mandate for students on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California. The School District was holding a virtual hearing on whether to enact a mandate for students to receive at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised […]

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

GOP lawmakers push back against federal probe into threats against school board members

By: - October 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans including Wisconsin’s Glenn Grothman on Thursday objected to a move by the Justice Department to investigate violent threats made against local school board members and teachers, arguing that the federal agency is “policing the speech of citizens and concerned parents.” Dozens of House Republicans sent a letter to DOJ, led by U.S. Rep. […]

Sign says 'Teach the Truth'

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

By: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our […]

Latino children playing

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

By: - October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten—investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds — or whether they even decide to accept […]

Children in an elementary school classroom. (Getty Images photo)

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]

Pro-immigration immigrants rights U.S. flag with message on reform for all

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges. The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects from deportation […]

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.

Georgia secretary of state decries 2020 election ‘disinformation campaign’

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who took the brunt of former President Donald Trump’s attacks over Georgia’s 2020 election results, said during a Friday virtual panel that he hopes election disinformation starts to dissipate. “People weren’t questioning the (election) process before, but there was a huge disinformation campaign which really destabilized […]