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.

Ohio’s two new members of Congress take their seats

By: - November 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday swore in two Ohioans as members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Reps. Shontel Brown, a Democrat, and Mike Carey, a Republican, bring the House to 221-213. They won their respective seats on Tuesday and were sworn in right away because the seats had been vacant. “I […]

Supreme Court justices skeptical about New York gun law

By: - November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday after listening to two hours of oral arguments on a New York law that imposes strict limits on carrying a gun outside the home — a case that will test how far states can go when crafting their own laws. In New York State […]

What’s in—and out—of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

Biden pitches new $1.75 trillion spending blueprint to Dems that drops paid family leave

By: - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to pitch lawmakers on a new slimmed-down framework for what would be included in a massive social reform package. The $1.75 trillion blueprint that Biden presented to Democrats includes a universal pre-K program for 3-and-4 year-olds, limits child care costs so that families […]

U.S. attorney general defends FBI probe of threats against school board members

By: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland for more than four hours on Wednesday about a Justice Department investigation into threats made to local school board members in multiple states. Garland at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing declined to revoke a memo he wrote asking the FBI to meet with local law enforcement to […]

Ohio School Boards Association ends affiliation with national group over request to probe threats

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised strong objections […]

GOP lawmakers push back against federal probe into threats against school board members

By: - October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Thursday objected to a move by the Justice Department to investigate violent threats made against local school board members and teachers, arguing that the federal agency is “policing the speech of citizens and concerned parents.” “Violence and true threats of violence should have no place in our civic discourse, but […]

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

By: - October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in […]

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

By: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our […]

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

By: - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten — investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds — or whether they even decide […]

Republicans win congressional dustup on the baseball diamond, amid DC turmoil

By: - October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Wednesday night were the victors in an annual charity baseball game against Democrats, 13-12, even as a bitterly divided Congress struggles to pass major legislation this week. There were some feel-good moments, like when President Joe Biden passed out ice cream bars in the dugouts and Republican Rep. Greg Steube […]

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]