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.

A man shoots AR-15 rifles and other weapons at a shooting range during the “Rod of Iron Freedom Festival” on Oct. 12, 2019 in Greeley, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Senate Democrats unveil legislation to ban high-capacity gun magazines

By: - February 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, along with 27 of his U.S. Senate colleagues, introduced legislation Tuesday to ban high-capacity magazines, which can be used on the type of semi-automatic firearm that is typically used in most mass shootings.  “High-capacity magazines were designed for one purpose and one purpose only — high-capacity killing […]

White House targets economic development in Central America to reduce migration

By: - February 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House Monday announced nearly $1 billion in investments to address economic causes of migration in several Central American countries, an effort being spurred by Vice President Kamala Harris.   Spread over several years, 10 private companies from Target to Nestlé are pledging $950 million to create economic development in Honduras, El Salvador […]

Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 2, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Congressional Black Caucus meets with Biden to push for police accountability

By: - February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Thursday evening to urge the administration to use its executive power for law enforcement reform, following criminal charges for police officers in the killing of a Black man in Memphis, Tennessee.  “My hope is this dark memory spurs some […]

A Border Patrol vehicle patrols the border between San Diego and Tijuana in this 2016 file photo.

U.S. House Judiciary’s debut hearing on the border centers on blame for fentanyl crisis

By: - February 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee blamed the Biden administration for fentanyl drug smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border during a Wednesday hearing. Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio also blamed U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the number of migrants at the border, and said there are already hundreds of […]

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

By: - January 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the […]

People gather at a candlelight vigil for victims of a deadly mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio on January 23, 2023 in Monterey Park, California.

Wave of mass shootings prompts Biden to call yet again for assault weapons ban

By: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following a mass shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in which 11 people in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in California were killed, President Joe Biden on Wednesday again urged Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Communities across America “have been struck by tragedy after tragedy, including mass shootings from Colorado […]

A phone screen shows images for WeChat and TikTok in front of a two flags split in the background. The flags are for the United States and China.

Members of Congress sign up for TikTok, despite security concerns

By: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Just like teens, members of Congress are setting up TikTok accounts — even as the popular app is increasingly barred from government devices and heads of federal intelligence agencies raise concerns about data collection and surveillance obtained by a Chinese-owned company.  At least 32 members of Congress — all Democrats and one independent […]

A variety of apples line a produce stand in a grocery store

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

By: - January 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

Protesters hold signs that read “hate is a virus” and “stop Asian hate” at the End The Violence Towards Asians rally Feb. 20, 2021, in Washington Square Park in New York City.

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

By: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON— The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press briefing. […]

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

By: - January 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

D.C. nears Jan. 6 anniversary with warnings about extremism, awards for courage

By: - January 6, 2023

WASHINGTON – On the eve of the second anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, congressional Democrats and dozens of veterans on Thursday in a press conference called on incoming House Republican leaders to condemn political violence and hold their members who supported the attack accountable for their actions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is scheduled on […]

An aerial view of the American flags flying over an international bridge as immigrants line up next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum on Dec. 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas.

Biden administration to rapidly expel more migrants at the border, add legal pathways

By: and - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced dual immigration strategies that would increase expulsions of migrants who attempt to cross the Southern border, while also expanding opportunities for migrants from several countries to legally enter the United States. But the sweeping new immigration plan brought condemnation from advocates who said he should not broaden […]