Author

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers Washington D.C. for States Newsroom, which supports the Capital-Star.

Special Report: Dozens of members of Congress are vaccinated against COVID-19, but some still hesitate; How Pa. did

By: and - March 30, 2021

a States Newsroom survey across 22 states—making up a large swath of Congress— found at least 155 members of the U.S. House and Senate have been vaccinated, based on a tally of responses from their offices and other public statements

Biden calls on Senate to act on background checks after mass shooting in Colorado

By: - March 23, 2021

Biden’s remarks came after deadly gun violence in two states within a week. On March 16, a series of spa shootings left six women of Asian descent dead in Atlanta, as well as two other people.

U.S. Senate passes coronavirus relief aid; bill now returns to the House; Pa.’s Casey, Toomey split

By: - March 6, 2021

GOP Senators filed more than 400 amendments. Of those amendments, only three were adopted into the bill. Democrats introduced eight amendments, of which five were passed.

Pa.’s U.S. House delegation splits along party lines on sweeping voting rights package

By: - March 4, 2021

Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim majority in a 50-50 Senate is not enough to enact into law a massive package that tackles dark money in campaigns, voter suppression and election security that requires 60 votes rather than a simple majority.

Pa. Dems join majority to approve $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill on a near party-line vote

By: - February 27, 2021

Two House Democrats voted against the bill—Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon. Every Republican opposed it. 

U.S. Senate hears from Ohio on the need for economic relief, minimum wage boost; Pa’s Toomey questions need

By: - February 19, 2021

The committee’s ranking member, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., raised concerns about unnecessary spending in the bill and the proposed $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals.

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission; Pa. Rep. Rabb says he’ll reintroduce his own bill

By: - February 18, 2021

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

By: - February 12, 2021

The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet are key to mitigating the spread of coronavirus.

Biden’s education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

By: - February 4, 2021

President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic.

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of Tuesday confirmation hearing

By: - February 1, 2021

Black farmers also say that at the USDA under Vilsack, agricultural census data was distorted to falsely show that there was a boom in the number of Black farmers. 

Election reform to return as a priority for Dems in Congress

By: - February 1, 2021

The 791-page For the People Act was given the bill number of H.R. 1 by House Democrats to signify its importance.

Biden to pause new oil and gas leases on public lands in sweeping climate order

By: - January 27, 2021

The action on leases is likely to be among the most contentious climate actions by the new administration