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.

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

By: - June 22, 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. Democrats […]

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. “Put simply, this suit involves admitted […]

U.S. Rep. David Scott wants long-term scholarship funding for 1890 HBCUs

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, an Atlanta Democrat, said their testimony would help members of the committee work to make […]

Justice Department to increase legal staff in wake of restrictive voting laws

By: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice announced Friday that it is doubling its enforcement attorneys who will work to protect voting rights, which could add legal reviews of Georgia’s new election rules. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement came as Republicans in state legislatures introduce and pass restrictive voting laws, such as limiting ballot boxes and requiring voter […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: Paying $4.4M ransom ‘one of toughest decisions’

By: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I […]

Marjorie Taylor Greene rebuked for comparing mask rules to Holocaust

By: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned remarks by Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the wearing of masks and vaccination logos to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust. Greene, a Republican, in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network made the comparison, according to CNN, and […]

House Democrats scrutinize Georgia’s voting law in review of new state rules

By: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—Members of a U.S. House panel on Monday debated whether some state elections laws disenfranchise certain voters, including people of color, and split along party lines in their conclusions. The chair of the elections subcommittee of the House Administration Committee, Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), voiced his concerns about recent voter ID requirements in laws […]

Electric buses, Beltline and bridges: Quest for fed’s transportation cash

By: and - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

By: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution, H.Res. 275, passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen […]

Cheney ousted from 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 […]

Senators deadlock on major U.S. elections bill in committee vote

By: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to […]

Warnock works to remedy decades of USDA bias against Black farmers

By: - May 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his party a […]