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.

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 5, 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 […]

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

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

By: - August 3, 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. House Democrats file brief in college affirmative action case

By: - August 3, 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 […]

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - August 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, […]

Democrats in Congress press Biden to extend pause on student loans

By: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON  — More than 100 congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond the Aug. 31 deadline. In a Thursday letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Senate and House Democrats argue that due to inflation and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student […]

Gun company CEOs tell Congress they’re not to blame for mass shootings

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The CEOs of major gun manufacturing companies told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday that their production of AR-15-style guns did not contribute to recent mass shootings that left 29 people dead, and that the killings were due to the actions of individual shooters. Ahead of the hearing, the House Oversight & Reform […]

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

By: - July 22, 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 19, 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 […]

Pregnant patients without access to abortion face a ‘death sentence,’ U.S. House panel told

By: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday that pregnant patients who can’t obtain abortions will face higher mortality rates if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term.  “It is essentially a death sentence,” Michele Bratcher Goodwin, the chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, told lawmakers. Democratic state […]

Vice president discusses abortion access with Democratic legislative leaders

By: - July 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris met Friday with Democratic state legislators from Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana to discuss ways to protect reproductive rights.  “The U.S. Supreme Court took away a constitutional right,” Harris said, adding that the overturning of Roe v. Wade was one of the most pressing issues facing the […]