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. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators, was proposed after the […]

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S.  The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said that families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising […]

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, […]

Democrats in Congress press Biden to extend pause on student loans

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON  — More than 100 congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond the Aug. 31 deadline. In a Thursday letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Senate and House Democrats argue that due to inflation and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student […]

Experts warn of election ‘havoc’ across the U.S. if North Carolina case succeeds

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Legal experts on Thursday warned lawmakers on the U.S. House Administration Committee that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a North Carolina case that embraces a fringe election theory, it would undermine future elections across the country. “To be blunt, it would be extraordinary destabilizing,” said Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor at the […]

Gun company CEOs tell Congress they’re not to blame for mass shootings

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The CEOs of major gun manufacturing companies told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday that their production of AR-15-style guns did not contribute to recent mass shootings that left 29 people dead, and that the killings were due to the actions of individual shooters. Ahead of the hearing, the House Oversight & Reform […]

Progressives renew call for U.S. Supreme Court expansion after abortion rights decision

By: - July 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. House Democrats Monday called for the passage of legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court, following the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that provided the constitutional right to abortion.  “It’s an ultra-right-wing Republican Supreme Court,” Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia said during a […]

Phoenix leads the nation as U.S. inflation hits a 40-year high in June

By: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. inflation reached a 40-year high for June as prices for gas, food and rent increased, according to the latest Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday. Consumer prices for all items increased 9.1% for the 12 months ending in June compared to last year, the biggest year-to-year increase […]

Biden says he supports filibuster exception for abortion rights legislation

By: - June 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday said he supports an exception to the U.S. Senate filibuster in order to enshrine Roe v. Wade in federal law, after the Supreme Court last week struck down the case that established abortion as a constitutional right.  “I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the […]

U.S. Supreme Court expands gun rights in striking down New York concealed carry law

By: - June 23, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York law that made it illegal to carry a firearm in public without showing a special need for protection.

U.S. House members warned about disinformation in upcoming campaigns

By: - June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Experts on election security warned lawmakers during a U.S. House Administration hearing on Wednesday of targeted disinformation campaigns that could occur in the upcoming midterm and presidential elections. The panel of witnesses also stressed to members of the subcommittee on elections the dangers of conspiracy groups and their reach in sowing disinformation about […]