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. Senate Agriculture panel approves Vilsack as Ag secretary in bipartisan vote

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead USDA, after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department for eight years during the Obama administration, […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

By: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief during the […]

Dems move to strip committee assignments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

By: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Rules Committee is set to meet on Wednesday to consider a resolution that would strip Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her two committee assignments. If approved for debate by the panel, the resolution would move to the floor of the Democratic-controlled House for a vote. It is included […]

Election reform to return as a priority for Dems in Congress

By: - January 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Democrats who control Congress by narrow margins and the White House are making a fresh attempt to move forward a massive package that tackles dark money in campaigns, voter suppression and election security. The architect of the bill, Rep. John Sarbanes, said in an interview that the tumultuous 2020 election was a perfect example of […]

Biden to pause new oil and gas leases on public lands in sweeping climate order

By: - January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden is set to sign a host of executive orders on climate Wednesday that will put a hold on new oil and gas leases on federal property, place environmental justice in the center of climate reform and set goals of conserving nearly a third of the nation’s land and water. On the leases, […]

New Pentagon chief has roots in Georgia

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed General Lloyd J. Austin III as secretary of Defense, making the former Georgian the first African-American to serve in the post. In a nearly unanimous vote of 93-2, the four-star general is the second member of President Joe Biden’s national security team to be confirmed by the […]

Seven U.S. Senate Democrats call for ethics probe of Hawley

By: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Seven U.S. Senate Democrats have urged the chamber’s ethics panel to look into Sen. Josh Hawley’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in connection with the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. The Democrats want a similar probe of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s actions and the Jan. 6 mob attack. […]

Biden immigration overhaul would open a door to citizenship for 11 million people

By: - January 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden is poised to send a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress Thursday that would lay out a path for nearly 11 million undocumented people to obtain citizenship within eight years. Immigration has been one of the toughest issues for Congress to tackle, and the legislation’s fate is unclear in a House in […]

President Biden urges a divided nation to ‘end this uncivil war’ in inaugural address

By: - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Calling on Americans to bridge the widening divisions in the country, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, completing the peaceful transition of presidential power on the same stage where a violent mob just two weeks ago sought to prevent him from taking office. Standing before an unusually […]

Biden to take the oath of office with troops on guard and towering challenges ahead

By: - January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States at noon, when he will take the oath of office while standing on the same platform where insurrectionists swarmed just two weeks ago as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. That violent mob of rioters damaged the […]

Pennsylvania congressman pushes criminal investigation of Trump for Capitol attack

By: - January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—A Pennsylvania Democrat filed a resolution Thursday directing the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation against President Donald Trump once he leaves office, on charges that Trump incited a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Brendan Boyle said the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol stemmed from a rally that Trump held just blocks from […]

U.S. House votes to again impeach Trump, as a ‘clear and present danger’

By: - January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with inciting violent rioters last week who rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, temporarily derailing the tally of presidential votes and leading to at least five deaths. The 232-197 vote concluded a swift, truncated process in the House, with Democrats […]