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.

An ‘unprecedented flood’ of book bans engulfs U.S. school districts, PEN report says

By: - October 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 book titles across 32 states were banned from public schools during the 2021-2022 school year, with the bulk of the ban requests coming from a handful of right-wing groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color, a new report issued Monday said. “What I […]

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

By: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a Thursday hearing grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people.  “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chair of the committee, Illinois […]

Key US Senate panel advances bill aimed at preventing another Jan. 6

By: - September 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee on Tuesday passed legislation that would update an 1887 elections law and clarify how electoral votes are certified, with the hopes of averting another attempt to overturn a presidential election.  Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, put forth the bill, […]

U.S. House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack postpones hearing

By: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — A Wednesday hearing planned by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian nearing landfall in Florida. A new date has not been announced. “In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to […]

Candidates, mostly Republican, skip debates, bar press during midterm campaigns

By: - September 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — With two months left of the 2022 campaign season, a majority of Republican candidates are continuing to skirt away from not only talking to local and national media outlets about their policy issues, but their own constituents, leaving voters with little information on their policy positions. “If we are to hold our elected […]

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

By: - September 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and […]

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

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 […]