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.

More than 1,500 books have been banned in public schools, and a U.S. House panel asks why

By: - April 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on Thursday examined why thousands of books, predominantly written by marginalized authors, have been banned from public schools, and the impact of those actions on students and teachers. “Most books being targeted for censorship are books that introduce ideas about diversity or our common humanity, […]

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through Aug. 31

By: - April 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration Wednesday announced its plans to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan payments […]

Biden administration to halt pandemic policy blocking migrants who claim asylum

By: - April 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday the government will terminate a Trump-era policy that prevented migrants from claiming asylum during a health crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic. The policy will end on May 23, the CDC wrote in its notice. “There is no longer a serious danger that the entry of […]

Biden signs law named for Emmett Till that makes lynching a federal hate crime

By: - March 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nearly 70 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi by two white men, President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime.  “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone belongs in America,” Biden said at  the Rose […]

Biden lays out a ‘fund the police’ budget plan

By: - March 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is requesting billions in its fiscal 2023 budget from Congress to fund police departments, despite progressive Democrats’ calls for some of that spending to be reallocated to social services.  President Joe Biden’s budget request to Congress unveiled Monday asks for $30 billion for state and local governments to add more […]

New process for asylum cases at the border unveiled by Biden administration

By: - March 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Thursday steps to expedite asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to resolve a years-long backlog, but policy advocates worry the streamlined process could prevent asylum seekers from obtaining legal representation if their cases are denied.  “If somebody is not approved in the first instance, they’re going […]

GOP senators attack and interrupt in final day of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee

By: - March 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — In the third day of hearings Wednesday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated her about sentences she handed down for child pornography offenses, disagreeing vehemently with her judicial decisions. Republicans grilled her with questions she had already answered […]

Most HBCU bomb threats may be coming from one juvenile, FBI official tells Congress

By: - March 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — A top FBI official told members of a U.S. House panel on Thursday that the agency believes a single juvenile is behind most of the bomb threats made to more than 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Ryan Young, executive assistant director of the Intelligence Branch at the FBI, said that the bomb […]

Biden urges city leaders to take advantage of billions in federal relief funds

By: - March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday urged local and city governments to continue to use the $130 billion in funds allocated to them from the American Rescue Plan to help during the pandemic. The president of the National League of Cities, Vince Williams of Union City, Georgia, introduced the president to attendees of the […]

Pressure ramps up to halt Trump-era policy that expels migrants at the border

By: - March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and immigration advocates are pushing the White House to end a controversial Trump-era immigration policy enacted during the pandemic that allowed U.S. officials to expel migrants and asylum seekers at the border. “I continue to be disappointed, deeply disappointed, in the administration’s response,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, […]

Congress hates changing the clocks just like everyone else

By: - March 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats in Congress can agree on sleep, or more precisely, the inconvenience of losing or gaining an hour of it each year thanks to going on and off daylight saving time. “I believe that any justifications for springing forward and falling back are either outdated or are outweighed by the serious […]

U.S. House condemns bomb threats made against HBCUs

By: - March 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the weeks-long chain of bomb threats made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The resolution, sponsored by North Carolina Democratic Rep. Alma Adams, is in response to the more than 30 bomb threats made at dozens of HBCUs, with an uptick throughout Black History Month in […]