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.

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released updated guidance to provide educators a science-based plan for reopening K-12 schools. The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least six feet are key to mitigating the […]

Biden nominees for education and labor posts approved by U.S. Senate panel

By: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Miguel Cardona was one step closer to leading the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee moved his nomination to the full Senate for a vote. The panel voted 17-5. Senators also voted 18-4 to advance the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve […]

Outlook for $15-an-hour minimum wage boosted by new government report

By: - February 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in a report Monday found a gradual increase to a $15 federal minimum wage by 2025 would reduce poverty, add $54 billion to the deficit over a decade and increase pay for millions of low-income workers. The report could help Democrats make a strong case for including a gradual […]

A defiant Marjorie Taylor Greene says she’d be ‘wasting my time’ on committees

By: - February 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters here on Friday that now that she’s lost her committee assignments, she has more time to push a pro-Trump agenda. The House voted late Thursday 230-199 to remove the Georgia Republican from two committee seats she had been assigned by GOP leaders upon arriving in Washington as a freshman […]

Senate Banking advances Fudge nomination to lead HUD

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced to the full Senate the nomination of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The committee’s chair, Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said he’s confident that Fudge will work to address the housing crisis and prevent […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The president’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ […]

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 […]