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.

A top candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court has roots in Miami

By: - January 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — With the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer by this summer, President Joe Biden has said he will fulfill a campaign promise of appointing a Black woman to an open seat on the highest court in the land. A top contender, who was even vetted by the Obama administration in 2016 […]

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down

By: , and - January 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to announce his retirement in the coming days, according to multiple press reports Wednesday. The decision by the 83-year-old justice, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, would give President Joe Biden his first chance to nominate a member of the Supreme Court, […]

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

By: - January 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

By: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including […]

U.S. Senate blocks change in the filibuster for voting rights bills

By: - January 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — Every Republican in the U.S. Senate and two Democrats on Wednesday night rejected a proposed change in the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, dealing a major blow to attempts in Congress to counter restrictive voting laws passed in the states. In a 48-52 vote, two Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona […]

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

By: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort to […]

Senate filibuster on voting rights criticized by advocates for the poor

By: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Progressive lawmakers Friday joined a virtual news conference with organizers from the Poor People’s Campaign and said they are not giving up on the push to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival held the virtual meeting to kick off its plans for a […]

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events leading up to […]

Sinema won’t support changes in the Senate filibuster, in setback for voting rights

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a drive by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believed any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave of […]

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

By: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals […]

Congressional Black Caucus calls for Senate action on voting rights

By: - January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to push for the swift passage of two voting rights bills, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are applying pressure for action as well. During a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said that members […]

Schumer insists ‘failure is not an option’ as voting rights fight intensifies

By: - January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the Senate will act as soon as Wednesday to attempt to again pass voting rights legislation. “Failure is not an option for the democracy of America,” the New York Democrat said at a Tuesday press conference with other Senate Democrats. “We’re running out of time.” Schumer […]