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.

kids play at Boise early childhood learning center

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K, child care. Will states opt in?

By: - October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten — investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds—or whether they even decide to accept […]

Kids in a Houston classroom wearing masks

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

By: - September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]

Protesters outside of U.S. Capital

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges.  The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects […]

people walk through an airport

Flight attendants report huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage,’ mostly over mask mandate

By: - September 24, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

Florida voter at a polling place

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

By: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

U.S. Capitol Building

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

A nurse in Maryland draws a vaccine dose from a vial

Republican AGs urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing.  In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 […]

Simone Biles on balance beam

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a former Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged […]

A person in New Jersey walks by a public polling place

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

By: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

U.S. Capitol Building

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming.  The $66 billion […]

U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C.

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

By: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of […]

Annual Tribute In Light Marks Anniversary Of Attacks On The World Trade Center's Twin Towers

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

By: - September 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people.  He’ll also visit Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where […]