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.

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 7, 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 […]

U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

By: - July 1, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Senate Democrats’ voting rights push stalls in the face of GOP opposition

By: - June 23, 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 […]

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 22, 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 […]

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges

By: - June 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges laid out to the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. This includes Central State University in Wilberforce. Committee Chairman David Scott, (D-Ga.), said that their […]

‘Tell the truth,’ Louisiana college president says of struggle to vaccinate returning students

By: - June 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Leaders in higher education from Florida and Louisiana on Thursday related how colleges coped with a rough year of online learning and vaccine distribution amid the pandemic, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. The hearing included Dr. Reynold Verret, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically […]

Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

By: - June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The mayors of cities in Ohio, Montana and Arizona stressed the need for affordable housing to be included in any congressional infrastructure package during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Mayors Daniel Horrigan of Akron, Ohio, Cyndy Andrus of Bozeman, Mont., and Corey Woods of Tempe, Ariz., […]

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

By: - June 14, 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 […]

Ilhan Omar tweet prompts dispute among House Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday faced a backlash from Democratic colleagues and leaders in the House after she tweeted a video of a virtual exchange she had with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. But some House Democratic allies also rose to Omar’s defense, saying […]

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 […]