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.

First Amendment advocates fight growing number of U.S. book bans

By: - October 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — One of Thomasina Brown’s favorite books is a memoir about a girl who deals with the grief of losing her father and struggles with her sexual identity. Brown, a 16-year-old student at Nixa High School in Nixa, Missouri, said in an interview that she felt a connection with the book, as she grieved […]

White House provides another $9 billion in student debt relief as pandemic pause ends

By: - October 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — As federal student loan repayments restart, the Biden administration Wednesday announced an additional $9 billion in student loan forgiveness for 125,000 borrowers. “For years, millions of eligible borrowers were unable to access the student debt relief they qualified for, but that’s all changed thanks to President Biden and this Administration’s relentless efforts to […]

U.S. House votes to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker

By: , and - October 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — Dissident Republicans in the U.S. House voted with Democrats on Tuesday to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker, a historic move that came just nine months after he secured the gavel following days of negotiating with the GOP’s right flank and 15 rounds of voting. It wasn’t immediately clear after the vote how the […]

Government shutdown nears: U.S. House GOP fails to pass one-month spending plan

By: , , and - September 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — A sweeping government shutdown appeared inevitable on Friday, with the U.S. Senate stuck in a procedural holding pattern on its bipartisan stopgap bill and divided U.S. House Republicans unable to pass their short-term spending bill. Both chambers of Congress must approve and President Joe Biden must sign government funding legislation before midnight on […]

Shutdown would mean even more delays in overwhelmed U.S. immigration courts

By: - September 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — A looming partial government shutdown will put added pressure on an already strained system — U.S. immigration courts. Canceling or rescheduling court cases that many immigrants have awaited for years will cause even more backlogs, immigration attorneys and judges have warned. “Where we’ll really kind of see the backlog continue to build will […]

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California dies at 90

By: - September 29, 2023

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more comments from senators and others. WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein died Thursday night in her home in Washington, D.C. The California Democrat was 90 and had announced in February she would not run for reelection in 2024. “She left a legacy that is undeniable and […]

During the first U.S. House impeachment inquiry hearing, House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer of Kentucky alleged that Republicans will show evidence of how President Joe Biden “abused his public office for his family’s financial gain.” (Screenshot from committee webcast)

GOP witnesses at Biden impeachment hearing see insufficient evidence of wrongdoing so far

By: - September 28, 2023

House Republicans held their first impeachment inquiry hearing Thursday over unproven allegations that President Joe Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings overseas.

Menendez urged to step down by a growing number of U.S. Senate Democrats

By: and - September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than two dozen U.S. Senate Democrats are calling on New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez to resign following his indictment on corruption charges for the second time. Among the 26 senators on the record as of Tuesday night was New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who said in a statement that Menendez’s […]

Food benefits for low income families at risk in a government shutdown, White House says

By: - September 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — As Congress barrels toward a partial government shutdown, the White House Monday warned that a program that helps millions of low income families afford healthy food could see substantial cuts. The White House released a state-by-state breakdown, estimating that nearly 7 million people who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, […]

Biden administration to create new gun violence prevention office

By: - September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House Thursday announced the formation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention that will help states and local governments as they implement a gun safety legislative package President Joe Biden signed into law last year. Lacking additional action in Congress to curb gun violence, “the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along […]

‘If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war’: Zelenskyy asks Congress to help Ukraine

By: and - September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers to reiterate the need for continued aid to support his country’s fight against the Russian invasion, even as the U.S. faces a partial government shutdown as soon as the end of the month. “If we don’t get the aid, […]

Biden administration offers temporary protection to Venezuelan migrants 

By: - September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced late Wednesday that the agency will expand protected status to nearly half a million Venezuelan nationals, allowing them to live and work in the United States. The move comes after multiple requests from cities that have struggled to house asylum seekers and calls from […]