Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. 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.

U.S. Supreme Court considers new limits on abortions in Mississippi case

By: and - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing potentially sweeping changes to the right to an abortion, after two hours of arguments Wednesday morning on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court’s conservatives, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared through their questions to be sympathetic to Mississippi’s arguments that its […]

Protesters rally at U.S. Supreme Court as justices hear landmark abortion case

By: - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Lucia Ruta remembers a time when abortions were illegal. A native of Washington, D.C., she says she received an abortion in a back alley when she was 16, in the 1960s.  “The doctor told me that if I made as so much a whimper, he was going to stop and kick me out,” […]

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

By: , and - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate. Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, health care, taxes […]

Immigrants make last-ditch plea for deportation protections, work permits in Build Back Better

By: - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Undocumented workers and immigration advocates are pushing for Democrats to keep work permits and protections from deportations in the final version of the $1.85 trillion social spending and climate package that the U.S. House is set to vote on as soon as Thursday night. Those immigration provisions face elimination when the bill moves […]

Virginia parents, GOP lawmakers vow national push for ‘parents’ rights’ in public schools

By: - November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and Virginia parents trying to capitalize on their success in the November election on Tuesday gathered across from the U.S. Capitol to voice their opposition to mask mandates and critical race theory. The ranking Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, told the small […]

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion […]

U.S. House sends $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to Biden for his signature

By: and - November 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House cleared a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure bill and took a major step toward passage of a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill late Friday, following months of wrangling between Democrats’ progressive and moderate wings. The votes marked a milestone in the marathon negotiations among members of the House […]

Supreme Court justices skeptical about New York gun control law

By: - November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday after listening to two hours of oral arguments on a New York law that imposes strict limits on carrying a gun outside the home—a case that will test how far states can go when crafting their own laws. In New York State Rifle & […]

What’s in — and out — of Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s sprawling social spending and climate package has been slimmed down into a still-massive $1.75 trillion plan that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the first […]

Biden pitches new $1.75 trillion spending blueprint to Dems that drops paid family leave

By: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is meeting with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to pitch lawmakers on a new slimmed-down framework for what would be included in a massive social reform package, according to senior administration officials. The $1.75 trillion blueprint that Biden is presenting to Democrats includes a universal pre-K program for 3-and-4 year-olds, […]

U.S. attorney general defends FBI probe of threats against school board members

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland for more than four hours on Wednesday about a Justice Department investigation into threats made to local school board members in multiple states. He also faced calls for his resignation, including from U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who said Garland has “weaponized the FBI […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised strong objections […]