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. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

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

By: - August 5, 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 […]

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

By: and - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The […]

Biden urges state and local leaders to postpone evictions while rental aid is distributed

By: - August 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Monday called on state and local governments to put their own pause on evictions for at least two months, and urged them to use $46.5 billion provided by the coronavirus relief package for tenants and landlords. But the White House said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been […]

House Dems to unveil revamped voting rights bill named for the late John Lewis

By: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—House Democrats plan to next week unveil a new version of legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that could protect voting rights across the U.S. During a Friday press conference, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said that House Democrats are expected to introduce a revised H.R. […]

Klobuchar: Senate Dems ‘very close’ to a deal on revised voting rights bill

By: - July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON—Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that lawmakers attempting to negotiate a compromise elections overhaul bill are “very close to an agreement” on legislation, as Democrats struggle to respond to restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states. Klobuchar, the chairwoman of the Senate Rules & Administration Committee, has been meeting with other Senate Democrats about […]

State Dems relate their experiences on the front lines of the voting rights struggle

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON—State Democratic legislators on Tuesday outlined their efforts to not only protect voting rights, but also expand them in their Republican-controlled state legislatures. During a panel discussion, state lawmakers from Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida discussed how they’ve fought against restrictive elections measures introduced and passed in their legislatures.  This year alone, nearly 400 […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

By: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON—Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, […]

‘Our democracy is in peril’: Women risk arrest in voting rights protest in D.C.

By: - July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON—Diane Howard of Cleveland traveled to the nation’s capital with hundreds of other women to urge Congress to pass an elections overhaul and undo new state laws that restrict voting access. A community activist for half a century, Howard said that this is not the first time she’s seen voting rights under attack. “What we […]

U.S. House to vote on next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

By: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water—including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of […]

La. Democrats ignoring Cancer Alley

Anti-poverty advocates urge Congress to act on voting rights, minimum wage, filibuster

By: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. The anti-poverty campaign, “A Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,” will run each Monday until Aug. 2. Advocates are urging Congress to enact the sweeping “For the People Act,” […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

By: - July 9, 2021

WASHINGTON—Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national election overhaul […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

By: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon.  “The EO directs USDA to […]