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.

Shalanda Young

Nomination of Louisiana’s Shalanda Young as deputy OMB chief moves ahead

By: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—The nomination of Shalanda Young of Louisiana as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget was advanced by two Senate committees on Wednesday, as the White House considers its new pick for the top OMB post. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines 7-6 and the Budget Committee […]

U.S. Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general

By: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed Merrick Garland to serve as U.S. attorney general in a 70-30 vote.  Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination in a 15-7 vote. Garland served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As attorney general, he’ll lead the Justice Department […]

Senate confirms Ohio’s Marcia Fudge as HUD secretary

By: - March 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio in a 66-34 vote to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to swear in Fudge at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Fudge, a Democrat who represents the 11th Congressional District, will be the second Black woman to […]

Senate passes coronavirus relief aid; bill now returns to the House

By: - March 6, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan Saturday afternoon after wrangling over an amendment to trim unemployment benefits derailed the bill’s passage for nearly an entire day. The Senate version, which does not include a federal minimum wage hike and puts limits on the funding for state and local governments, […]

Shalanda Young

OMB deputy nominee Shalanda 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 […]

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

By: - March 3, 2021

The House 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 majority […]

Senate confirms Cardona as education secretary

By: - March 2, 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 […]

Haaland faces GOP critics at her Interior confirmation hearing

By: - February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Rep. Deb Haaland confronted expected tough questioning from Republican senators on Tuesday at her confirmation hearing to become the first Native American secretary of the Department of the Interior. But the New Mexico Democrat also drew support from Rep. Don Young, a longtime Alaska Republican who made a quick appearance to praise her […]

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 […]

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

By: - February 15, 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 much 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 is an outlier. Georgia, […]

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 13, 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 […]