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. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

By: - September 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief announcement in late August. The White […]

Male nurse holding vial of Covid-19 vaccine and syringe

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

By: - September 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and […]

Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard. “We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that […]

Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

By: and - August 8, 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 […]

patient receives monkeypox vaccine

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 […]

Joe Biden

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 […]

House keys sitting on an eviction notice received in the mail.

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

By: - August 3, 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 […]

Memorial outside of Buffalo's Tops market

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

By: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, […]

Uvalde Families Grieve For Loved Ones Killed In School Mass Shooting

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 and Reform […]

Atlanta federal pen

‘Stunning, long-term failures’ found in probe of Atlanta penitentiary

By: - July 26, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. senators on a Homeland Security panel on Tuesday detailed years of abuse at U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta that the committee found in an unreleased bipartisan investigation. “The evidence the Subcommittee has secured to date reveals stunning long-term failures of federal prison administration that likely contributed to loss of life, jeopardized the health and […]

U.S. Capitol building

U.S. House panel advances assault weapons ban on party-line vote

By: - July 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday passed legislation that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons, in a renewed push to ban the guns most commonly used in recent mass shootings. The party-line 25-18 vote followed recent mass shootings in which AR-15 style rifles were used — in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and […]