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.

Biden warns of U.S. energy price spikes if Russia invades Ukraine

By: and - February 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — American service members will not deploy to Ukraine in the event of a “distinctly possible” Russian invasion, but strong economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies could reverberate and prompt energy price spikes, President Joe Biden said in a live address Tuesday from the White House. Biden urged Russian President […]

Biden meets with county leaders in D.C., promotes Build Back Better plan

By: - February 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden during a Tuesday meeting with county leaders called on Congress to pass his stalled social spending package as a way to fight inflation, saying it would help with expenses families face. “Families are getting clobbered by the cost of everyday things,” Biden told members of the National Association of Counties […]

North Observation Point at Scotts Bluff National Monument

National parks try to make progress on long-deferred maintenance

By: - February 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — During a Wednesday U.S. Senate hearing centered on national parks, administration officials outlined to senators how funding from the Great American Outdoors Act is starting to reduce the backlog of maintenance projects — even as visitation to parks has exploded. An Interior Department official said the most-loved parks are the ones that need […]

USDA to send out $1.4 billion to boost rural economies in the states

By: - February 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the agency is investing $1.4 billion into rural economies through job training, business loans and the expansion of technical assistance.   “It’s a good day for rural America,” Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, said during a call with reporters. Eight programs will distribute 751 […]

Governors attempt to bridge deep political divides in big D.C. meeting

By: , and - February 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — Governors of both parties from throughout the United States met here over the weekend to try to speak on a unified front about what their states need from the federal government. But the waters were muddied by governors’ clearly divided political views about two major issues of the moment: voting laws and whether […]

A top candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court was on ‘short list’ in 2016

By: - January 28, 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 vetted by the Obama administration in 2016 as […]

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down

By: , and - January 26, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. 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 […]

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

By: - January 25, 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 […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

By: - January 25, 2022

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid last week during a hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa who also served as agriculture secretary during the Obama administration, said the Department of Agriculture is working to distribute money provided by the […]