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.

Planned parenthood clinic

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 […]

President Joe Biden in Portland

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 […]

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

By: - April 20, 2022

Students in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama.  In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was […]

Migrant camps in Mexico

New process for asylum cases at the border unveiled by Biden administration

By: - March 25, 2022

WASHINGTON D. C. — The Biden administration announced Thursday steps to expedite asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to resolve a years-long backlog, but policy advocates worry the streamlined process could prevent asylum seekers from obtaining legal representation if their cases are denied.  “If somebody is not approved in the first instance, […]

Ketanji Brown Jackson

GOP senators attack and interrupt in final day of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee

By: - March 24, 2022

WASHINGTON D.C. — In the third day of hearings Wednesday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated her about sentences she handed down for child pornography offenses, disagreeing vehemently with her judicial decisions. Republicans grilled her with questions she had already […]

Biden in State of the Union urges ‘unmistakable’ support for democracy in Ukraine

By: and - March 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night to reassert America as a leading global voice for democracy and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine.  “Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for […]

UKRAINE: Before any U.S. troops are sent to Ukraine, some in Congress want a say

By: - February 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a Democrat, and Warren Davidson of Ohio, a Republican, are leading a broad, bipartisan coalition of lawmakers urging the president to not send U.S. troops into Ukraine, or declare war, before receiving authorization from Congress. President Joe Biden has not dispatched troops to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion […]

Biden warns of U.S. energy price spikes if Russia invades Ukraine

By: and - February 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — American service members will not deploy to Ukraine in the event of a “distinctly possible” Russian invasion, but strong economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies could reverberate and prompt energy price spikes, President Joe Biden said in a live address from the White House Tuesday. Biden urged Russian President […]

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 […]

Farmland in Oregon

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 […]

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

By: , and - February 1, 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 […]

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

By: - January 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on […]