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.

HBCU leaders decry waves of bomb threats as federal investigators probe origin

By: - February 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — Hours before the Southern Poverty Law Center held a virtual panel Tuesday about recent bomb threats made to dozens of historically Black colleges, yet another bomb threat was reported — this one to Spelman College, a historically Black institution in Georgia. “This was a racist attack that aims to not only disrupt the start of Black History Month, […]

Biden says answer to gun violence ‘is not to defund the police’

By: - February 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland traveled Thursday to New York City, where the lives of two police officers were claimed in recent shootings, as the administration unveiled a new initiative to combat gun violence. A senior administration official told reporters that the White House is focusing on ghost guns, which are homemade […]

U.S. House votes to name Atlanta post office for the late Rep. John Lewis

By: - February 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday night to rename a U.S. postal office in Atlanta after the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon who championed the right to vote and represented the state for more than 30 years. The bill, H.R. 5577, passed with bipartisan support with 421 votes. One lawmaker, Rep. Chip […]

Biden cites 40-day timeline for Supreme Court confirmation

By: and - February 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin, and the panel’s top Republican, Chuck Grassley, met with the president Tuesday afternoon to discuss a 40-day confirmation timeline for a new Supreme Court pick. “The Constitution says, ‘advise and consent, advice and consent,’ and I’m serious when I say that I want the […]

A top candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court has roots in Miami

By: - January 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — With the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer by this summer, President Joe Biden has said he will fulfill a campaign promise of appointing a Black woman to an open seat on the highest court in the land. A top contender, who was even vetted by the Obama administration in 2016 as a […]

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down

By: , and - January 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to announce his retirement in the coming days, according to multiple press reports Wednesday. The decision by the 83-year-old justice, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, would give President Joe Biden his first chance to nominate a member of the Supreme Court, […]

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

By: - January 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, an Atlanta Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including the […]

U.S. Senate blocks change in the filibuster for voting rights bills

By: - January 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — Every Republican in the U.S. Senate and two Democrats on Wednesday night rejected a proposed change in the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, dealing a major blow to attempts in Congress to counter restrictive voting laws passed in the states. In a 48-52 vote, two Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona […]

Senate filibuster on voting rights criticized by advocates for the poor

By: - January 14, 2022

ASHINGTON — Progressive lawmakers Friday joined a virtual news conference with organizers from the Poor People’s Campaign and said they are not giving up on the push to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival held the virtual meeting to kick off its plans for a […]

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

By: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s […]

Sinema won’t support changes in the Senate filibuster, in setback for voting rights

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a drive by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believed any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave of […]