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.

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns.  “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S.  The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising […]

U.S. Reps. DeFazio, Bonamici and other U.S. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia has filed a brief along with 64 other House Democrats urging the Supreme Court to uphold the role that race plays in college admission policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.  “Narrowly tailored admissions policies that recognize race as […]

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts on Thursday warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the […]

U.S. House panel advances assault weapons ban on party-line vote

By: - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday passed  legislation that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, in a renewed push to ban the guns most commonly used in recent mass shootings. The party-line 25-18 vote followed recent mass shootings in which AR-15 style rifles were used — in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and […]

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]

Progressives renew call for U.S. Supreme Court expansion after abortion rights decision

By: - July 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. House Democrats Monday called for the passage of legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court, following the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that provided the constitutional right to abortion.  “It’s an ultra-right-wing Republican Supreme Court,” Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia said during a […]

Gas station

U.S. inflation hits a 40-year high in June, but Biden points to decreasing gas prices

By: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. inflation reached a 40-year high for June as prices for gas, food and rent increased, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Consumer prices for all items increased 9.1% for the 12 months ending in June compared to last year, the biggest year-to-year increase since the period ending in November 1981. May […]

U.S. House panel presses gun makers to testify before Congress

By: - July 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The chair of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Thursday said she has requested that CEOs of three gun manufacturing companies appear before Congress to testify at a hearing later this month on gun violence.  Chair Carolyn B. Maloney of New York said she has asked for appearances by Marty […]

U.S. Senate moves forward on gun safety legislation

By: - June 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan bill later this week that could become the most comprehensive federal gun safety legislation in years, including billions in new mental health funding. Senators on a procedural vote late Tuesday agreed 64-34 to start debate on the gun control bill, which would also have to […]