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.

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., speaks at a U.S. Capitol press conference on the Title 42 immigration policy, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, Jan. 26, 2023. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

By: - January 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the […]

In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on Aug. 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Members of Congress sign up for TikTok, despite security concerns

By: - January 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — Just like teens, members of Congress are setting up TikTok accounts — even as the popular app is increasingly barred from government devices and heads of federal intelligence agencies raise concerns about data collection and surveillance obtained by a Chinese-owned company.  At least 32 members of Congress — all Democrats and one independent […]

A sign noting the acceptance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that are used by state welfare departments to issue benefits is displayed at a convenience store on Dec. 4, 2019, in Richmond, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

By: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

Protestors hold signs that read "hate is a virus" and "stop Asian hate" at the End The Violence Towards Asians rally in Washington Square Park on Feb. 20, 2021, in New York City. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, violence towards Asian Americans has increased at a much higher rate than previous years. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Days after Indiana attack, White House vows to fight hate against Asian Americans

By: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON— The White House on Tuesday announced a multi-agency strategy to help combat anti-Asian American hate, promote language access and improve governmental data collection for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. “This unprecedented plan builds on the administration’s broader equity agenda,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Tuesday’s press briefing. […]

The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30. (Photo by jayk7/Getty Images)

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

By: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

U.S. President Joe Biden presents Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson a Presidential Citizens Medal during a ceremony to mark the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 6, 2023. Biden awarded over a dozen Presidential Citizens Medals to police officers who defended the Capitol and state officials who resisted pressure to overturn 2020 presidential election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Biden honors more than a dozen Americans for upholding democracy on Jan. 6

By: - January 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — On the second anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden on Friday awarded citizen medals to 14 Americans who protected democracy and law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol. “Two years ago on Jan. 6 our democracy was attacked,” Biden said at the White House. “Our democracy held because […]

An aerial view of the American flags flying over an international bridge as immigrants line up next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum on Dec. 22, 2022, in El Paso, Texas. A spike in the number of migrants seeking asylum in the United States has challenged local, state and federal authorities. The numbers are expected to increase as the fate of the Title 42 authority to expel migrants remains in limbo pending a Supreme Court decision expected after Christmas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Biden administration to rapidly expel more migrants at the border, add legal pathways

By: and - January 5, 2023

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced dual immigration strategies that would increase expulsions of migrants who attempt to cross the Southern border, while also expanding opportunities for migrants from several countries to legally enter the United States. But the sweeping new immigration plan brought condemnation from advocates who said he should not broaden […]

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris swears in Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his wife Iris Weinshall in the Old Senate Chamber on Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate opens a new session with a record set by McConnell

By: - January 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed reelected and newly elected senators Tuesday afternoon to a new session of Congress, highlighting the bipartisan success of the previous two years and outlining his optimism for a continued approach.    “There’s no reason why the success of the last two years needs to end today,” Schumer, […]

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ) heads to a meeting in the U.S. Capitol building on June 8, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice […]

U.S. Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema (D-AZ) speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act at the Capitol Building on Nov. 29, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Talks over protecting Dreamers pick up in Congress, but agreement still elusive

By: - December 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — In a last-minute push, U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan agreement to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children. But the success of any major immigration deal appears unlikely, as a lame-duck session of Congress dwindles into its last days. Democrats are […]

U.S Supreme Court, courtesy photo.

U.S. Supreme Court to review Biden student debt relief plan in February

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will hear oral arguments in February over a legal challenge by six Republican-led states to the Biden administration student borrower relief plan. Until the arguments are heard and the court issues a ruling, the $400 billion Biden plan is on hold due to a nationwide injunction […]

President Joe Biden greets Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit at the Department of the Interior on Nov. 30, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The summit will feature new administration announcements and efforts to implement key policy initiatives supporting tribal communities. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

At tribal summit, Biden pledges federal commitment to Indian Country

By: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is poised to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a sacred site for Native American tribes in southern Nevada, as a national monument that would ensure the preservation of ancestral lands for those 12 tribes.  “I’m committed to protecting this sacred place that is central to the creation […]