Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter in the States Newsroom Washington, D.C, bureau. 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.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Mike Pence

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

By: - January 24, 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 […]

cattle gather in a feedlot

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including the […]

Voters cast ballots at Whittier Elementary

U.S. Senate blocks change in the filibuster for voting rights bills

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Every Republican in the U.S. Senate and two Democrats on Wednesday night rejected a proposed change in the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, dealing a major blow to attempts in Congress to counter restrictive voting laws passed in the states. In a 48-52 vote, two Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona […]

A microscopic image of human patient cells infected by the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

By: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort […]

lawmakers gather at U.S. Capitol

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday.  Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix, is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events […]

Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Sinema won’t support Senate filibuster changes, causing setback for Dems’ voting rights push

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a drive by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believes any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave […]

United States Capitol by night in Washington

Michigan woman arrested with guns in her truck near U.S. Capitol

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States Capitol Police said in a press release that they arrested a Michigan woman Wednesday on charges of unlawful possession of multiple firearms. The woman, identified by officers as Kery Lynn McAttee, told police she was traveling from Michigan and went to the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters to talk about information […]

President Joe Biden

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals […]

Protesters hold signs encouraging voting rights

Schumer insists ‘failure is not an option’ as voting rights fight intensifies

By: - January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the Senate will act as soon as Wednesday to attempt to again pass voting rights legislation.  “Failure is not an option for the democracy of America,” the New York Democrat said at a Tuesday press conference with other Senate Democrats. “We’re running out of time.” Schumer […]

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Complaints about White House handling of COVID-19 aired at U.S. Senate hearing

By: - January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senators from both political parties expressed their frustration with the Biden administration coronavirus response team during a Tuesday hearing that keyed in on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on vaccines, as well as the shortage of COVID-19 tests available for Americans. The hearing also was highlighted by a tense exchange […]

Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol

Biden in Jan. 6 speech decries ‘web of lies’ created by Trump about 2020 election

By: - January 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday warned of the dangers of a collapse of American democracy, standing in a historic chamber in the U.S. Capitol that was besieged by an angry mob of pro-Trump supporters who attempted to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.  “We are in the battle for the soul […]

Jan. 6 insurrection

Voting rights tops U.S. Senate agenda as Jan. 6 anniversary nears

By: - January 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday stressed that Democrats are prepared to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation — and linked the move to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. “The election subversion efforts we’re seeing all across the country today are […]