Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter for States Newsroom's Washington bureau.

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

By: - October 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in […]

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

By: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter […]

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges.  The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects […]

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

By: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

By: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a former Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged senators to […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed along […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people.  He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

By: - September 6, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a Temporary […]

U.S. military has left Afghanistan; evacuation of Americans and Afghans moves into next phase

By: - August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Even as the last military planes left Kabul, members of Congress were still trying to facilitate the evacuations of more Americans and Afghans. Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) are leading efforts to supply names and contacts of Afghans who helped the U.S. in the last 20 years […]