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.

Longtime Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings dies at 84

By: - April 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alcee Hastings, a longtime South Florida Democrat who broke several barriers in a career that spanned decades, died Tuesday. He was 84 and announced in early 2019 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but didn’t plan to step down. He was reelected last November with 79 percent of the vote in the 20th […]

U.S. Capitol Police officer who died had 18-year career; suspect who died had suffered from ‘paranoia’

By: and - April 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police officer who died Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol is William “Billy” Evans, who was a longtime member of the force. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years. He began his USCP service on […]

Police officer dead after suspect rams car into barricade outside U.S. Capitol

By: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—One U.S. Capitol Police officer was dead and another injured Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol and struck the officers, according to law enforcement. The suspect in the vehicle was shot and killed, said Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, during a press conference. Police […]

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

By: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON—A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box. The hearing in the House Administration Committee’s elections subcommittee also served as a way for voting […]

Biden to unveil $2T plan to rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, move to clean energy

By: - March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Wednesday in Pennsylvania will unveil a nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild highways and bridges, along with funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday night. Alongside the expansive infrastructure plan, the president will release a […]

Special Report: Dozens of members of Congress are vaccinated against COVID-19, but some still hesitate

By: - March 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress were among the first people in the U.S. to have access to the sought-after COVID-19 vaccine when the initial doses became available in December. Three months later, a States Newsroom survey across 22 states—making up a large swath of Congress— found at least 155 members of the U.S. House and Senate have […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

By: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON  — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, (D-Ga.), said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

Biden calls on Senate to act on background checks after mass shooting in Colorado

By: - March 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation to close loopholes on background checks for guns and to ban assault weapons, following a mass shooting that killed 10 at a Colorado supermarket. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue.” Biden’s remarks […]

Venezuelans in Florida and across the U.S. gain temporary protection from deportation

By: - March 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is granting temporary protection for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans living in the United States who fled the economic crisis in their home country. An estimated 349,000 Venezuelans live in this country, according to a 2018 report by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that conducts research on migration. […]

U.S. Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general

By: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed Merrick Garland to serve as U.S. attorney general in a 70-30 vote. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination in a 15-7 vote. Garland served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As attorney general, he’ll lead the Justice Department as the […]

Senate confirms Ohio’s Marcia Fudge as HUD secretary

By: - March 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio in a 66-34 vote to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to swear in Fudge at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Fudge, a Democrat who represents the 11th Congressional District, will be the second Black woman to […]

U.S. Senate passes coronavirus relief aid; bill now returns to the House

By: - March 6, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan Saturday afternoon after wrangling over an amendment to trim unemployment benefits derailed the bill’s passage for nearly an entire day. The Senate version, which does not include a federal minimum wage hike and puts limits on the funding for state and local governments, […]