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.

Congressional panel debates federal role in juvenile justice reform

By: - September 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of a U.S. House Education and Labor Committee panel on Thursday questioned experts and leaders of youth rehabilitation programs about how the federal government could invest in programs to prevent kids from becoming incarcerated. “Although the juvenile justice system is intended to rehabilitate—not punish—young offenders, data shows that the more a young […]

U.S. education secretary Cardona urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

By: - September 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession. Cardona also touted the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief announcement in late August. The White House said President Joe Biden […]

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine booster for this fall

By: - September 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and older. These […]

Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

By: - August 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard. “We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that […]

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

By: - August 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers with an income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. Biden also announced his administration is extending a pause […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

By: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, which means the federal government can more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, […]

Record rent increases, low wages are driving an eviction crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Witnesses in a Tuesday hearing detailed to a U.S. Senate committee how investors and stagnant wages are driving an eviction and housing crisis across the U.S. The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, said families are being priced out of buying homes, and rising rents […]

relief

Democrats in Congress press Biden to extend pause on student loans

By: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON  — More than 100 congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond the Aug. 31 deadline. In a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Senate and House Democrats argue that due to inflation and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student loan borrowers […]

Gun company CEOs tell Congress they’re not to blame for mass shootings

By: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — The CEOs of major gun manufacturing companies told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday that their production of AR-15-style guns did not contribute to recent mass shootings that left 29 people dead, and that the killings were due to the actions of individual shooters. Ahead of the hearing, the House Oversight & Reform […]

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

By: and - July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning. Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of […]

Courts take the lead role as U.S. immigration policy remains in limbo

By: - July 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Eighteen months into the Biden administration, immigration reform has stalled despite campaign promises to reform the system, with the most recent movement on immigration policy doled out by the U.S. Supreme Court and in lower federal courts. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden administration in a 5-4 decision on June 30 that […]

Vice president discusses abortion access with Democratic legislative leaders

By: - July 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris met Friday with Democratic state legislators from Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana to discuss ways to protect reproductive rights. “The U.S. Supreme Court took away a constitutional right,” Harris said, adding that the overturning of Roe v. Wade was one of the most pressing issues facing the country. […]