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.

Russia says ‘Nyet’ to any more visits from hundreds of members of Congress

By: - May 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of members of Congress are permanently banned from visiting Russia, in retaliation for passing economic sanctions on the country after it invaded Ukraine in late February. The list includes nearly 1,000 Americans, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with celebrities such as actor Morgan Freeman, executives such as […]

U.S. Senate Republicans block bill requiring agencies monitor domestic terrorism

By: - May 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that would require federal agencies to monitor domestic terrorism incidents, including those potentially related to white supremacy. The failure of the Senate procedural vote showed again how difficult it is for Congress to agree on any response to U.S. gun violence. It followed a racist […]

Frustrated Democrats call for GOP help on federal gun laws after mass school shooting

By: - May 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday implored Senate Republicans to work with Democrats to pass bipartisan gun control legislation, following a mass school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Texas. Tuesday’s massacre was the nation’s second-deadliest mass school shooting since another at Sandy Hook Elementary […]

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

By: - May 19, 2022

Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting and destroying […]

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

By: - May 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel during a Thursday hearing the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the […]

Overturning Roe would hand power over abortion to states. Many would ban it.

By: and - May 4, 2022

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a nearly 50-year-old right to abortion would lead to strict restrictions or bans by states across nearly half the country almost immediately. The court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, as well as a subsequent ruling on fetal viability, according to an initial […]

Biden on leaked draft opinion on abortion: The ‘right to choose is fundamental’

By: - May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration “will be ready when any ruling is issued” on abortion rights, after the nation was rocked by the leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that confirmed the court is planning to overturn access to abortion.   “I believe that a woman’s right […]

EPA issues waiver for sales of 15 percent ethanol blend during summer driving season

By: - April 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The EPA issued a fuel waiver Friday afternoon to allow for a heightened ethanol gasoline blend to be sold at service stations this summer, an attempt by the Biden administration to lower soaring fuel prices.  In a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, EPA administrator Michael S. Regan wrote that the waiver will […]

Democratic leaders in Congress want more power for regulators over high gasoline prices

By: - April 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders in Congress critical of soaring gasoline prices say they will push legislation to allow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to go after oil companies that engage in price gouging in times of crisis.  “Big oil has profited in this (and) has exploited the market,” House Speaker Nancy […]

U.S. House panel looks into disinformation targeted at communities of color

By: - April 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Experts tracking disinformation efforts online detailed to lawmakers on a U.S. House Administration panel Thursday how communities of color are targets for those disinformation campaigns. Democrats on the Subcommittee on Elections expressed their concern about how communities of color are the subject of election and COVID-19 misinformation through various social media platforms such […]

Health risks for families in military private housing probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - April 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel on Tuesday grilled officials running private housing for service members about reports of deplorable living conditions from military families. The hearing, led by Chairman Sen. Jon Ossoff, a Georgia Democrat, and top GOP member Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, followed a joint release of a […]

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

By: - April 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to nearly 80 individuals charged with nonviolent crimes and unveiled an administration strategy to help formerly incarcerated people secure employment.  Of that list, three were pardons and 75 were commutations, which is a reduction in an individual’s prison sentence. They were the first pardons and commutations […]