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.

White House budget office nominee Young praised for bipartisan work

By: - March 4, 2021

Shalanda Young went through another confirmation hearing as the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, as House leaders and caucuses are pushing the Biden administration to nominate her instead to lead the agency. “This position requires someone with a history of looking beyond partisanship,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R- Louisiana) said during […]

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

By: - March 4, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220-to-210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim […]

Senate confirms Miguel Cardona as Biden’s education secretary

By: - March 1, 2021

The Senate on Monday confirmed Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education in a 64-33 vote. Cardona, a longtime educator from Connecticut, will be tasked with helping schools reopen during the pandemic and leading the $68 billion agency. “There is no one better suited for this job in this moment than Miguel Cardona,” […]

Sprawling $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill passed by the U.S. House

By: - February 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House on a nearly party-line vote passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package early Saturday, in a rush to both boost COVID-19 vaccine funding and get legislation to the president’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, passed 219-212. It includes a gradual increase in the […]

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as Agriculture secretary

By: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years. But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his treatment of them during […]

Georgia-Florida water wars case heard by U.S. Supreme Court

By: - February 22, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday heard oral arguments in a long-running fight pitting Georgia farmers against Florida oystermen over water rights. The case, Florida v. Georgia, stems from a 2013 lawsuit filed by the state of Florida that argued Georgia was using too much water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, which resulted in damage to oystermen […]

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

By: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery, the same day that House Democrats held a hearing on legislation that would set up a reparations commission. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by the House […]

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released updated guidance to provide educators a science-based plan for reopening K-12 schools. The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet are key to mitigating the spread of coronavirus. […]

Proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage would boost paychecks in the South

By: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—A gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase the pay of low-income workers across the U.S. but particularly in Georgia and much of rest of the South, researchers and experts predict. Florida recently voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026, but the Sunshine State […]

New federal budget report boosts $15-an-hour minimum wage

By: - February 8, 2021

WASHINGTON—The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in a report Monday found a gradual increase to a $15 federal minimum wage by 2025 would reduce poverty, add $54 billion to the deficit over a decade and increase pay for millions of low-income workers. The report could help Democrats make a strong case for including a gradual federal minimum wage […]

Defiant Marjorie Taylor Greene says committee posts a waste of her time

By: - February 5, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters here on Friday that now that she’s lost her committee assignments, she has more time to push a pro-Trump agenda. The House voted late Thursday 230-199 to remove the Georgia Republican from two committee seats she had been assigned by GOP leaders upon arriving in Washington as a freshman —Education and […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should get vaccine priority

By: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—The president’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ participation in […]