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.

Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, is calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

By: - July 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the People Act,” […]

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U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In a 222-190 vote that was almost entirely party-line, just two Republicans joined Democrats in passing the resolution, which calls for a probe into “one of the darkest […]

(Photo: Mario Tamo/Getty Images)

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

By: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting.  The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson, (R-La.), said that the legislation is not needed and that the […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats’ voting rights push stalls in the face of GOP opposition

By: - June 23, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections reform and voting rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster and advance. […]

Tennessee State University. (Photo: TSU)

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON—Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges laid out to the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers.  Committee Chairman David Scott, (D-Ga.), said that their testimony would help members of the committee work to […]

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Liz Cheney ousted from U.S. House GOP leadership for rejecting Trump’s “big lie”

By: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election. Saying they want to unite the party in an attempt to win back the House in the 2022 midterm elections, GOP lawmakers in […]

(Photo taken Feb. 3, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Karen Pulfer Focht.)

Biden administration to suggest model ‘red flag’ gun laws for states

By: - April 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice will distribute model “red flag” legislation to states so they can enact laws that would allow courts to temporarily remove a firearm from an individual who is distressed, according to senior Biden administration officials. “The president will not wait for Congress to act before the administration takes our own […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Special Report: Dozens of members of Congress are vaccinated against COVID-19, but some still hesitate

By: and - March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress were among the first people in the U.S. to have access to the sought-after COVID-19 vaccine when the initial doses became available in December. Three months later, a States Newsroom survey across 22 states—making up a large swath of Congress— found at least 155 members of the U.S. House and […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as other House Democrats listen during a news conference on the For the People Act at the east front of the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House is scheduled to vote on the act today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

By: - March 4, 2021

The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim majority […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates shakes hands with House Subcommittee Chairman Steve Cohen (D-TN) during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 bill, which proposes a commission be formed to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

By: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday 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 the House […]

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced him as his nominee for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Cardona, the Connecticut Education Commissioner, will face the urgent task of planning to reopen schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—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. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ participation in […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fleischmann among congressmen testing positive for COVID-19

By: - January 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Tuesday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, and blamed Republicans who refused to wear masks in a secure room where lawmakers were kept during the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol last week. And Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) also announced that he and another lawmaker he lives […]