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.

Biden pitches new $1.75 trillion spending blueprint to Dems that drops paid family leave

By: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is meeting with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to pitch lawmakers on a new slimmed-down framework for what would be included in a massive social reform package, according to senior administration officials. The $1.75 trillion blueprint that Biden is presenting to Democrats includes a universal pre-K program for […]

U.S. attorney general defends FBI probe of threats against school board members

By: - October 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland for more than four hours on Wednesday about a Justice Department investigation into threats made to local school board members in multiple states. Garland at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing declined to revoke a memo he wrote asking the FBI to meet with local law […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

By: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised […]

GOP lawmakers push back against federal probe into threats against school board members

By: - October 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Thursday objected to a move by the Justice Department to investigate violent threats made against local school board members and teachers, arguing that the federal agency is “policing the speech of citizens and concerned parents.” “Violence and true threats of violence should have no place in our civic discourse, but […]

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

By: - October 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter […]

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

By: - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten—investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds—or whether they even decide to accept the cash, […]

Republicans win congressional dustup on the baseball diamond, amid DC turmoil

By: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Wednesday night were the victors in an annual charity baseball game against Democrats, 13-12, even as a bitterly divided Congress struggles to pass major legislation this week. There were some feel-good moments, like when President Joe Biden passed out ice cream bars in the dugouts and Republican Rep. Greg Steube […]

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

By: - September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]

Biden administration rolls out new rule to bolster DACA as lawsuit continues

By: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a proposed new rule that would strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect undocumented people in the program from legal challenges.  The proposed rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, would “preserve and fortify” the DACA program, an Obama administration-era initiative that protects […]

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

By: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Republican AGs urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing.  In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 […]