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. House GOP spending bills falter as Congress struggles to avoid a shutdown

By: and - September 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats said Tuesday they are preparing their own short-term spending bill that they believe will garner bipartisan support, a decision that could stave off a partial government shutdown — and as House Republicans failed to advance two spending bills. The Senate move would work as long as the House votes to […]

States urged by Biden administration to rectify underfunding of land-grant HBCUs

By: - September 19, 2023

States engaged in decades of underfunding of land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities, leading to a more than $12 billion disparity with comparable white institutions, leaders of the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. “Unacceptable funding inequities have forced many of our nation’s distinguished Historically Black Colleges and Universities […]

U.S. House Speaker McCarthy tells committees to launch Biden impeachment probe   

By: - September 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday announced that he has directed several House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into unproven GOP allegations that President Joe Biden profited from his son’s business dealings when he was vice president in the Obama administration. “These allegations paint a picture, a picture of corruption,” […]

spending

Battles over spending, farm bill, Ukraine and yet more loom over a divided Congress 

By: , , and - September 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House and Senate are both back in D.C. on Tuesday following a long summer recess, facing an overwhelming agenda of unfinished work — funding the federal government and reauthorizing major spending programs set to expire at the end of the month. Congressional leaders and President Joe Biden have only a few […]

debt relief

Millions enrolled in new student loan repayment program

By: - September 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than 4 million federal student loan borrowers are enrolled in the Biden administration’s new repayment program, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education. Of those, 89,500 are from Indiana. With the pause of more than three years on federal student loan repayments coming to an end in October, […]

Biden administration provides guidance on diversity in college admissions 

By: - August 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and Department of Education jointly released guidance on Monday to colleges and universities about how to consider race in admissions decisions, following the Supreme Court’s summer decision that struck down affirmative action in higher education. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, on a call with reporters, said higher education institutions can […]

States seek to let teens as young as 14 serve booze in restaurants

By: - August 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — As a former bartender and current tipped worker, Trupti Patel knows that customers tend to get grabby when there is booze involved. After working in the food service industry for more than a decade, she is accustomed to dealing with drunk customers who get out of hand, especially if they become belligerent or […]

Court allows Biden rule limiting asylum at the border to be kept in place for now

By: - August 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Thursday decided to allow the Biden administration to keep in place a temporary two-year rule that restricts asylum at the U.S. border, while the legal challenges to a lower court’s ruling play out. The decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals aids the Biden administration, which […]

More than 19,000 Hoosiers will get total student loan debt forgiveness under new Biden relief plan

By: and - July 19, 2023

More than 19,000 Hoosiers who borrowed federal student loans will have their remaining debt wiped out under the White House’s $39 billion debt relief plan. That’s according to new U.S. Department of Education data released Tuesday, which showed the number of borrowers who are eligible for automatic loan relief. The move is part of a […]

house

U.S. House Republicans pass overhaul of federal elections system out of committee

By: - July 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a party-line vote, the U.S. Committee on House Administration on Thursday night passed a bill that would enact strict new voting laws for states, such as requiring copies of IDs for voting by mail, and set penalties for states that allow voting by noncitizens in local elections. The 224-page bill, H.R. 4563, […]

US Supreme Court rules against Biden administration student loan debt relief plan

By: - June 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Biden administration does not have the legal authority to enact a one-time student debt relief program, dealing a blow to the 40 million Americans who would have qualified. Last year, the Biden Administration rolled out a debt forgiveness plan for borrowers with federal student […]

US Supreme Court strikes down use of affirmative action in college admissions

By: and - June 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that two prominent universities’ consideration of race in acceptances violated the U.S. Constitution, effectively reshaping the role of affirmative action in the college admissions process throughout higher education. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, wrote that the admissions processes at […]