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.

Biden says answer to gun violence ‘is not to defund the police’

By: - February 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland traveled Thursday to New York City, where the lives of two police officers were claimed in recent shootings, as the administration unveiled a new initiative to combat gun violence. A senior administration official told reporters that the White House is focusing on ghost guns, which are […]

Irrigation

USDA to send out $1.4 billion to boost rural economies in the states

By: - February 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the agency is investing $1.4 billion into rural economies through job training, business loans and the expansion of technical assistance.   “It’s a good day for rural America,” Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, said during a call with reporters. Eight programs will dole […]

U.S. House votes to name Atlanta post office for the late Rep. John Lewis

By: - February 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday night to name a U.S. postal office in Atlanta after the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon who championed the right to vote and represented the state for more than 30 years. The bill, H.R. 5577, passed with bipartisan support with 421 votes. All seven […]

Biden cites 40-day timeline for Supreme Court confirmation

By: and - February 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin, and the panel’s top Republican, Chuck Grassley, met with the president Tuesday afternoon to discuss a 40-day confirmation timeline for a new Supreme Court pick. “The Constitution says, ‘advise and consent, advice and consent,’ and I’m serious when I say that I want the […]

Governors attempt to bridge deep political divides in big D.C. meeting

By: , and - January 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — Governors of both parties from throughout the United States met here over the weekend to try to speak on a unified front about what their states need from the federal government. But the waters were muddied by governors’ clearly divided political views about two major issues of the moment — voting laws and […]

A top candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court has roots in Miami

By: - January 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — With the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer by this summer, President Joe Biden has said he will fulfill a campaign promise of appointing a Black woman to an open seat on the highest court in the land. A top contender, who was even vetted by the Obama administration in 2016 […]

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down

By: , and - January 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to announce his retirement in the coming days, according to multiple press reports Wednesday. The decision by the 83-year-old justice, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, would give President Joe Biden his first chance to nominate a member of the Supreme Court, […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including the […]

U.S. Senate blocks change in the filibuster for voting rights bills

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Every Republican in the U.S. Senate and two Democrats on Wednesday night rejected a proposed change in the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, dealing a major blow to attempts in Congress to counter restrictive voting laws passed in the states. In a 48-52 vote, two Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona […]

Senate filibuster on voting rights criticized by advocates for the poor

By: - January 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Progressive lawmakers Friday joined a virtual news conference with organizers from the Poor People’s Campaign and said they are not giving up on the push to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival held the virtual meeting to kick off its plans […]

COVID-19 tests

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

By: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort […]

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday.  Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events […]