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.

Candidates, mostly Republican, skip debates, bar press during midterm campaigns

By: - September 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — With two months left of the 2022 campaign season, a majority of Republican candidates are continuing to skirt away from not only talking to local and national media outlets about their policy issues, but their own constituents, leaving voters with little information on their policy positions. “If we are to hold our elected […]

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

By: - September 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and older. These […]

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard. “We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that […]

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly divided Senate. […]

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 5, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aiming to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court when it struck down the constitutional right […]

U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. “Narrowly tailored admissions policies that recognize race as one criterion — out […]

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S. The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising […]

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, as the ban […]

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

By: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts last week warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the Chicago-Kent […]