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.

U.S. Senate to try again on voting rights in September

By: - August 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S.1, known […]

Former GOP congressman from Virginia to advise Jan. 6 investigation

By: - August 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman will serve as a nonpartisan senior staff member on a panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. “Doing this might be one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in a video he posted to Twitter. “We can’t worry […]

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

By: - August 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the […]

House Dems document U.S. history of discrimination in shaping John Lewis voting rights bill

By: - August 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — A House panel released a new report on Friday that will help lawmakers craft legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination […]

Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program, report finds

By: - August 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how states can […]

State legislators rallying in D.C. urge Congress to act on voting rights

By: - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats joined with dozens of state legislators at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday afternoon, demanding that the Senate skip August recess and pass critical voting rights legislation in reaction to Republican-led states that have adopted restrictive voting laws. Dozens of legislators from North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas, […]

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The Biden administration […]

Biden urges state and local leaders to postpone evictions while rental aid is distributed

By: - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday called on state and local governments to put their own pause on federal evictions for at least two months, and urged them to use $46.5 billion provided by the coronavirus relief package for tenants and landlords. But the White House said that the Centers for Disease Control and […]

Internet crackdown in Cuba frustrates families, friends in the U.S.

By: - July 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is still trying to restore internet access cut off by the Cuban government after thousands of protesting Afro-Cubans took to the island’s streets calling for democratic reform. Florida lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are lobbying the administration to support the protests, as well as quickly get internet access back to […]

Klobuchar: Senate Dems ‘very close’ to a deal on revised voting rights bill

By: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that lawmakers attempting to negotiate a compromise elections overhaul bill are “very close to an agreement” on legislation, as Democrats struggle to respond to restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states. Klobuchar, the chairwoman of the Senate Rules & Administration Committee, has been meeting with other Senate […]

U.S. Senate advances nomination of Stone-Manning for public lands post

By: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday agreed 50-49 to bring to the floor the nomination of Montana’s Tracy Stone-Manning to head the Bureau of Land Management, following weeks of GOP attacks over her ties to a 1989 tree-spiking scheme. Due to a deadlocked 10-10 vote out of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), […]

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

By: - July 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats […]