Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa is a reporter at the States Newsroom, in the Washington, D.C, bureau.

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides, conservative groups

By: - June 26, 2021

WASHINGTON—Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers—a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say it’s unconstitutional to direct […]

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It would tackle […]

Senate Democrats’ voting rights push stalls in the face of GOP opposition

By: - June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections-reform and voting-rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster and advance. […]

College athletes score a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court in NCAA dispute

By: - June 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association cannot limit educational compensation to student athletes due to their amateur status. The 9-0 decision in NCAA v. Alston was delivered by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said the college athletics body is not exempt from antitrust law. “Put simply, this suit involves admitted […]

‘Tell the truth,’ Louisiana college president says of struggle to vaccinate returning students

By: - June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON—Leaders in higher education from Florida and Louisiana on Thursday related how colleges coped with a rough year of online learning and vaccine distribution amid the pandemic, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. The hearing included Dr. Reynold Verret, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically Black college […]

U.S. House Ag leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for 1890 land-grant colleges, including FAMU

By: - June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—Leaders from 1890 land-grant colleges laid out to the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday how a fresh infusion of scholarship funding provided by Congress has helped those historically Black institutions educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. Committee Chairman David Scott, (D-Ga.), said that their testimony would help members of the committee work to make the […]

Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

By: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—The mayors of U.S. cities stressed the need for affordable housing to be included in any congressional infrastructure package during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Mayors Daniel Horrigan of Akron, Ohio, Cyndy Andrus of Bozeman, Mont., and Corey Woods of Tempe, Ariz., all said that their cities are […]

Ilhan Omar tweet prompts dispute among U.S. House Democrats

By: - June 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday faced a backlash from Democratic colleagues and leaders in the House after she tweeted a video of a virtual exchange she had with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. But some House Democratic allies also rose to Omar’s defense, saying that critics within […]

Local leaders urge Congress to move faster on regulating certain toxic chemicals as hazardous materials

By: - June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON—Local officials and community leaders on Wednesday pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards. In addition, two Democratic U.S. senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at military […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’ to pay a $4.4M ransom

By: - June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON—The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s voting record in the spotlight following Biden remarks

By: - June 3, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday said that comments made earlier this week by President Joe Biden about “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends” were not a criticism of moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Biden did not name the senators, but they were widely considered to be […]

Bill of rights for residents of manufactured housing introduced in Congress

By: - May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is pushing for tenants’ rights to extend to residents of manufactured housing communities to protect them from predatory rent hikes. The Iowa Democrat introduced two pieces of legislation last week. One bill aims to establish a set of minimum standards and protections for tenants of manufactured housing communities, which are typically single […]