Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter in the Washington, D.C., bureau of States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit news outlets that includes Colorado Newsline.

Haaland faces GOP critics at her Interior confirmation hearing

By: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Rep. Deb Haaland confronted expected tough questioning from Republican senators on Tuesday at her confirmation hearing to become the first Native American secretary of the Department of the Interior. But the New Mexico Democrat also drew support from Rep. Don Young, a longtime Alaska Republican who made a quick appearance to praise her […]

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as Agriculture secretary

By: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years.  But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his […]

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

By: - February 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House last week indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery, the same day that House Democrats held a hearing on legislation that would set up a reparations commission. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by […]

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 12, 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 6 feet are key to mitigating […]

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

By: - February 11, 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 8, 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 […]

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

By: - February 5, 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 […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 3, 2021

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.

Biden rolls back Trump policy on separation of migrant children from their parents

By: - February 3, 2021

President Joe Biden signed three executive orders on Tuesday evening that will reverse controversial policies from the previous administration, including one that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents.

Dems move to strip committee assignments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

By: - February 2, 2021

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. 

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 1, 2021

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.

Election reform to return as a priority for Dems in Congress

By: - January 29, 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 […]