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.

senate

 ‘Lobbying for my right to exist’: US Senate panel examines how states target trans kids

By: - June 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — Harleigh Walker just wanted a U.S. Senate panel to understand she is a typical 16-year-old girl. She likes Taylor Swift. She enjoys being on her school’s debate team. And she listens way too loudly to music in her room. “I’m just trying to be a teenager in America,” she told senators on the […]

courts

‘We’re just trying to live our lives’: DACA hits 11-year mark still mired in the courts

By: - June 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. last week marked the 11th anniversary of a program that was created during the Obama administration to temporarily protect undocumented children from deportation but is now mired in the courts. But congressional inaction and legal challenges have led to more than a decade of limbo for the 600,000 people enrolled, with […]

White House to name coordinator to push back against book bans, among new LGBTQ+ protections 

By: - June 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — As part of the celebration of Pride month, the Biden administration on Thursday announced several new protections for LGBTQ+  youth and families, including the position of a federal coordinator to counter the massive wave of book bans across the country. President Joe Biden also Thursday hosted a Pride event at the White House, […]

relief

U.S. Senate votes to block student loan relief, White House will veto

By: - June 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to overturn the Biden administration’s one-time student debt relief plan that is on hold due to a pending Supreme Court decision. President Joe Biden has vowed to veto the resolution, but the 52-46 vote forced vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2024 to take a public […]

congress

Debt limit deal hits turbulence in Congress as leaders prep for vote

By: and - May 31, 2023

WASHINGTON — Congress began moving the bipartisan debt limit package forward Tuesday, though frustrations with provisions in the bill could make for narrow passage in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats both aired their disappointment with the agreement forged over the weekend, but only GOP lawmakers are looking to possibly […]

Biden, McCarthy say they have brokered a debt limit deal to avert U.S. default

By: and - May 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced a deal in principle Saturday night that would stave off a first-ever default on the nation’s debt as long as it can clear both chambers of Congress before June 5. The agreement would address the nation’s debt limit and include a “historic” reduction in spending, McCarthy said, though […]

debt

A default on the U.S. debt would be far worse than a government shutdown

By: , , and - May 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — A U.S. default on its debt would have a significantly broader impact on federal operations, financial markets and the global economy than recent government shutdowns that have left ordinary Americans largely untouched. While the two have been confused frequently during debate over the debt limit, the federal government has had considerable practice with […]

Title 42 set to end, marking a shift in U.S. asylum policy at the border

By: - May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — A pandemic-era measure that allowed for the swift expulsion of millions of migrants at the Southwest border ends Thursday, and the Biden administration and state officials across the U.S. are bracing for a potential increase in asylum seekers. At the same time, House Republicans this week are pushing through a border security package […]

labor

At a McDonald’s in Kentucky, 10-year-olds worked past midnight, Department of Labor finds

By: - May 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — Children as young as 10 were found working past midnight at a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Labor said in announcing numerous civil penalties levied on fast-food franchises. As part of an investigation into federal child labor law violations in the Southeast, the Department of Labor said that three […]

‘Tennessee three’ praised by Biden in White House meeting

By: - April 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday met with three Tennessee state Democratic lawmakers, two of whom were expelled by the Republican-controlled state House after they protested for gun safety measures following a mass school shooting. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones of Nashville, Justin Pearson of Memphis […]

hospitals

U.S. judge rules insurers don’t have to cover many free preventive health services

By: , and - March 31, 2023

WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies may no longer need to cover a wide swath of preventive health care services that were required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, under a federal judge’s ruling issued Thursday in Texas. The decision could affect millions of Americans’ access to no-cost preventive health care — including pregnancy-related care, cancer screenings, […]

Biden student debt relief plan met with skepticism from U.S. Supreme Court conservatives

By: - March 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — The majority conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical Tuesday that the Biden administration had the authority to implement a federal student debt relief program that was estimated to potentially aid millions of borrowers. The conservative justices, who hold a 6-3 majority on the court, questioned whether the Department of Education […]