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 […]

U.S. Senate Democrats’ climate, health and energy bill clears first hurdle to passage

By: and - August 6, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Saturday night to advance to debate on Democrats’ sweeping energy, health and taxes bill, clearing a major hurdle to passage. The 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, cleared the chamber to debate and vote on amendments to the measure and indicated that it had […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns.  “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this […]

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

By: - August 3, 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 […]

Biden to sign order on out-of-state abortion access

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that aims to help pregnant patients cover the cost of travel to access abortion health care, a senior administrative official said. The executive order does not protect access to abortion, which was overturned in late June by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court […]

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

By: - August 2, 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 […]

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 27, 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 […]

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

Editor’s note: This article has been updated. WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that […]

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

By: - July 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. House Democrats called Monday 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 […]

Pregnant patients without access to abortion face a ‘death sentence,’ U.S. House panel told

By: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses told a U.S. House committee on Wednesday that pregnant patients who can’t obtain abortions will face higher mortality rates if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term.  “It is essentially a death sentence,” Michele Bratcher Goodwin, the chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, told lawmakers. Democratic state […]

U.S. inflation hits a 40-year high in June, but Biden points to decreasing gas prices

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 […]