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.

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats in voting […]

Georgia’s new voting law takes the stage again as access rules are tightened

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—State Democratic legislators on Tuesday outlined their efforts to not only protect voting rights, but also expand them in their Republican-controlled state legislatures. During a panel discussion, state lawmakers from Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida discussed how they’ve fought against restrictive elections measures introduced and passed in their legislatures. This year alone, nearly 400 […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

By: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has attracted bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in D.C. voting rights protest

By: - July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. “What we […]

U.S. House could vote soon to expand ‘forever chemical’ regulation

By: - July 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of […]

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, end 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,” an […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

By: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]

White House says order coming on labeling meat as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs USDA to […]

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

By: - July 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of Trump supporters attacked the 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 days of […]

GOP resists new calls for federal OK of John Lewis Voting Rights Act

By: - June 29, 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 […]

Relief payments to Black farmers stalled by conservative group lawsuits

By: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON—Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers—a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Atlanta Democrat David Scott calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say it’s unconstitutional to […]

U.S. House panel approves bill to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It would tackle […]