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.

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill budgets for climate change fight, enhanced research

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday advanced 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 party lines […]

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

By: - September 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee advanced legislation Friday 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 $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation measure, […]

Biden travels 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 is visiting the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday is observing 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 people were […]

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 out of Afghanistan; evacuation of Americans and Afghans enters new phase

By: - August 30, 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-Co.), 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 […]

Voting by proxy becomes business as usual in the U.S. House

By: - August 19, 2021

WASHINGTON —Data from roll call votes shows that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to […]

U.S. House Dems unveil new voting rights bill named for John Lewis

By: - August 17, 2021

This story was updated at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.  WASHINGTON — At the base of the bridge in Selma, Ala., where the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia almost died while marching for civil rights, congressional Democrats announced Tuesday the introduction of legislation that aims to protect voting rights across the country. Rep. Terri Sewell, […]

DOJ civil rights official urges Congress to act soon on voting rights

By: - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—A top Justice Department official on Monday stressed the need for Congress to pass legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis in order to protect voting rights across the United States. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke told lawmakers that since a 2013 Supreme Court decision […]

Bourdeaux among House moderates who won’t back Dem budget before vote on infrastructure bill

By: - August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nine moderate U.S. House Democrats including Georgia Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux are threatening to oppose a budget resolution needed to pass a major social policy package unless a bipartisan infrastructure bill is first signed into law, according to multiple media reports. Opposition from the group could stymie House Democratic leadership’s plans of passing major […]

U.S. Senate to try again on broad voting rights legislation in September

By: - August 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a comprehensive voting rights package to the Senate floor for a vote when the chamber returns from recess next month. The New York Democrat said Wednesday that the Senate will take up a compromise version of the voting and elections bill, S.1, known […]

House Dems document U.S. history of bias to shape John Lewis voting rights bill

By: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — A House panel released a new report on Friday that will help lawmakers craft  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination in voting and […]

Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program, report finds

By: - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how states can […]