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 averts freight rail strike, but bid to include worker sick leave fails

By: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to codify an agreement the White House brokered between rail unions and freight companies in order to avoid a catastrophic rail strike, but fell short of enough votes to include paid sick leave for workers. The Senate backed the rail deal on an 80-15 vote and rejected […]

Student loan repayment pause extended by White House amid legal battles over relief plan

By: - November 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30 while legal challenges to the administration’s student debt relief program are fought over in the courts. The agency said if the student debt relief program has not been put in place by […]

Young Black and Latino voters seen as key in turning back midterm ‘red wave’

By: - November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Young Black and Latino voters were critical in holding off the Republican “red wave” in several battleground states for U.S. Senate seats and in tight U.S. House races in the midterm elections, according to analyses by researchers and grassroot organizations. Young, diverse voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had the second-highest youth […]

Biden student debt relief plan thrown out by Texas judge; new applications halted

By: - November 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Late Thursday a federal judge in Texas struck down the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, ruling that the program is unlawful, in a blow to 16 million student debt borrowers already approved for relief. The U.S. Department of Education now is no longer accepting applications for the program, according to the student […]

All eyes again on the Peach State: Georgia voters asked to decide U.S. Senate control

By: - October 31, 2022

ALBANY, Ga.—Shayla Jackson knocks three times before slipping a card with voting information under the blue-painted doors of apartments at Wild Pines, a complex tucked behind Albany State University in Georgia. As a canvasser for the nonpartisan New Georgia Project, a group dedicated to registering Black, brown and young voters and getting them to the polls, […]

Biden student debt forgiveness plan on temporary hold after appeals court ruling

By: - October 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from carrying out its student loan forgiveness plan, until the court makes a determination on a request for an injunction brought by six Republican-led states, according to multiple media reports. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided — for now — with […]

Biden vows codifying Roe v. Wade will top his agenda if Democrats expand control

By: - October 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday promised that if Democrats keep control of the U.S. House and gain a few more Democratic seats in the Senate, then “the first bill that I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade.” He also told supporters at a Democratic National Committee event that […]

The student debt relief application is live: Here’s what you need to know

By: - October 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that student loan borrowers can begin to apply for debt relief through a new online application. Biden said the application is easy and fast. It will allow every borrower with an income of $125,000 or less ($250,000 for married couples) to have up to $10,000 in debt forgiven, or $20,000 forgiven […]

Immigration advocates call again for DACA renewal in Congress, as possible end looms

By: - October 12, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they remained hopeful Congress could create a legal pathway to citizenship before the end of the year for the more than 600,000 undocumented people enrolled in an immigration program that is at risk of being deemed illegal by a lower court. Immigration rights advocates held a press […]

The battle for control of Congress: Abortion, inflation, crime and Biden

By: , and - October 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress are fanning out to every district in the country, leaving the wonky floor debates on Capitol Hill behind for the campaign trail in advance of the crucial Nov. 8 midterm elections. Democrats are fighting to hold their razor-thin majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, citing two years of […]

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

By: , , and - October 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. He will also direct U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal law as a Schedule I drug, the Drug […]

DACA ruled unlawful by federal appeals court, but program continues for now

By: - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has upheld a prior ruling that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unlawful, sending the case back to a lower court that will decide the legality of the program that includes more than 600,000 undocumented people. The ruling means the program remains for now and those in it […]