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 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 […]

At-home test

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

By: - January 18, 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 […]

Congressional Black Caucus calls for Senate action on voting rights

By: - January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to push for the swift passage of two voting rights bills, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are applying pressure for action as well.  During a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said that members […]

Schumer insists ‘failure is not an option’ as voting rights fight intensifies

By: - January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the Senate will act as soon as Wednesday to attempt to again pass voting rights legislation. “Failure is not an option for the democracy of America,” the New York Democrat said at a Tuesday press conference with other Senate Democrats. “We’re running out of time.” Schumer […]

Biden in Jan. 6 speech decries ‘web of lies’ created by Trump about 2020 election

By: - January 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday warned of the dangers of a collapse of American democracy, standing in a historic chamber in the U.S. Capitol that was besieged by an angry mob of pro-Trump supporters who attempted to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election. “We are in the battle for the soul […]

Voting rights tops U.S. Senate agenda as Jan. 6 anniversary nears

By: - January 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday stressed that Democrats are prepared to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation — and linked the move to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. “The election subversion efforts we’re seeing all across the country today are […]

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Schumer says U.S. Senate to consider changing the filibuster if voting rights stalls

By: - January 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned on Monday that the Senate is prepared to debate changes in the filibuster if Republicans continue to block the advancement of voting rights legislation. In a sternly worded letter to other senators, the New York Democrat set a deadline of Jan. 17 for the chamber to consider revising the […]

Biden administration resists Democrats’ pleas on student debt relief as deadline nears

By: - December 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the freeze on student loan repayments, and for the president to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt — but so far the administration is not budging. The standoff is one of the more noticeable splits between President Joe Biden and members of his […]