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.

U.S. Senate Agriculture panel approves Vilsack as Ag secretary in bipartisan vote

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead USDA, after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department for eight years during the […]

Biden ends Trump policy to separate migrant children from their parents

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed three executive orders on Tuesday evening that 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 […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief […]

Dems move to strip committee assignments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Rules Committee is set to meet on Wednesday to consider a resolution that would strip Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her two committee assignments. If approved for debate by the panel, the resolution would move to the floor of the Democratic-controlled House for a vote. It is included […]

Election reform to return as a priority for Dems in Congress

By: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats who control Congress by narrow margins and the White House are making a fresh attempt to move forward a massive package that tackles dark money in campaigns, voter suppression and election security. The architect of the bill, Rep. John Sarbanes, said in an interview that the tumultuous 2020 election was a perfect […]

Biden to pause new oil and gas leases on public lands in sweeping climate order

By: - January 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed a host of executive orders on climate Wednesday that will put a hold on new oil and gas leases on federal property, place environmental justice in the center of climate reform and set goals of conserving nearly a third of the nation’s land and water. On the leases, likely […]

Hawley pushes ethics probe of U.S. Senate Democrats who filed complaint against him

By: - January 26, 2021

WASHINGTON—Seven U.S. Senate Democrats urged the chamber’s ethics panel to investigate Sen. Josh Hawley’s role in the pro-Trump assault on the Capitol, and the Missouri Republican is now asking the committee to do the same. In a Monday letter, Hawley argued that the seven Democrats filed an improper complaint last week against him and Sen. Ted Cruz […]

Seven U.S. Senate Democrats call for ethics probe of Hawley

By: - January 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Seven U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday  urged the chamber’s ethics panel to look into Sen. Josh Hawley’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in connection with the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. The Democrats also want a similar probe of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s actions and the Jan. 6 […]

Biden immigration overhaul would open a door to citizenship for 11 million people

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is poised to send a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress Thursday that would lay out a path for nearly 11 million undocumented people to obtain citizenship within eight years. Immigration has been one of the toughest issues for Congress to tackle, and the legislation’s fate is unclear in a […]

President Biden urges a divided nation to ‘end this uncivil war’ in inaugural address

By: and - January 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Calling on Americans to bridge the widening divisions in the country, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, completing the peaceful transition of presidential power on the same stage where a violent mob just two weeks ago sought to prevent him from taking office. Standing before an unusually […]

Biden takes the oath of office with troops on guard and towering challenges ahead

By: and - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States Wednesday morning, when he took the oath of office while standing on the same platform where insurrectionists swarmed just two weeks ago as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. That violent mob of rioters damaged the U.S. Capitol, attacked police […]

A congressman and his aides armed themselves with scissors in the face of a mob. Now, he wants Trump prosecuted.

By: - January 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle slipped a pair of scissors into his pocket as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. He didn’t tell his staff members because he didn’t want to alarm them — but also didn’t realize his three staffers made the same call. They, too, had each grabbed a pair of scissors as […]