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Ariana Figueroa, States Newsroom

Ariana Figueroa, States Newsroom

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

President Joe Biden signs bipartisan legislation to avert a freight rail workers strike with (L-R) Director of Made in America Celeste Drake, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Dec. 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden signs bill that staves off railroad workers strike

By: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a resolution intended to avert a freight rail strike, based on an agreement reached between some rail unions and freight rail companies. Several unions did not agree with the deal passed by Congress because it lacked paid sick leave, but Democrats have said the alternative […]

U.S. Supreme Court to review Biden student debt relief plan in February

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will hear oral arguments in February over a legal challenge by six Republican-led states to the Biden administration student borrower relief plan. Until the arguments are heard and the court issues a ruling, the $400 billion Biden plan is on hold due to a nationwide injunction […]

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (left) and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont at the U.S. Capitol head to lunch with Senate Democrats prior to a vote on an agreement to avert a looming rail strike on Dec. 1, 2022. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

U.S. Senate averts freight rail strike, but bid to include worker sick leave fails

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to codify an agreement the White House brokered between rail unions and freight companies in order to avoid a catastrophic rail strike, but fell short of enough votes to include paid sick leave for workers. The Senate backed the rail deal on an 80-15 vote and rejected […]

President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland talk about new initiatives for Native Americans and a possible new national monument sacred to many Southwest tribes at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, held at the Department of the Interior on Nov. 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

At tribal summit, Biden pledges federal commitment to Indian Country

By: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is poised to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a sacred site for Native American tribes in southern Nevada, as a national monument that would ensure the preservation of ancestral lands for those 12 tribes.  “I’m committed to protecting this sacred place that is central to the creation […]

Members of a U.S. Senate panel voiced concerns Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, about higher grocery prices if a proposed merger between the Kroger and Albertsons supermarket chains is completed. This photo of a Los Angeles-area Albertsons was taken Oct. 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Albertsons-Kroger mega-deal raises questions from lawmakers about higher food prices

By: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Members of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee panel raised concerns during a Tuesday hearing that a proposed merger between two of the largest U.S. supermarket chains could mean a monopoly on groceries and lead to higher food prices for Americans. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Competition […]

The U.S. House of Representatives will take up a legislation this week that attempts to avert a strike by railroad workers. About 30 percent of the nation’s freight moves by rail. The Association of American Railroads estimates a nationwide shutdown could cause $2 billion a day in economic losses. This photo shows freight railcars in front of cranes at the Port of Long Beach, California, on Nov. 22, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. House to intervene in rail workers strike, heeding Biden call

By: - November 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the House will take up legislation to ratify an agreement between rail workers and operators in order to avert a nationwide rail strike. “This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the […]

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, that student borrowers will get an extension on repaying their loans as the Biden administration battles lawsuits against its debt relief plan. Here, borrowers protest outside the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18, 2022. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)

Student loan repayment pause extended by White House amid legal battles over relief plan

By: - November 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30 while legal challenges to the administration’s student debt relief program are fought over in the courts. The agency said if the student debt relief program has not been put in place by […]

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (from left): Democratic Reps.-elect Robert Garcia, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Greg Casar, Gabe Vasquez, Andrea Salinas, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Yadira Caraveo, Delia Ramirez, Rob Menendez. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Congressional Hispanic Caucus welcomes new House members, reflects on Latino vote

By: - November 21, 2022

The campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus welcomed the highest number of Democratic Latino lawmakers elected to Congress, during a Friday event at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. CHC BOLD PAC chair, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, said continuing to reach out to Latino communities and young voters will be key to […]

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., blocked the Biden administration Tuesday from using Title 42, a controversial rule to send asylum seekers back to Mexico to await a decision on their status. Here an asylum (right) waits outside the San Ysidro Port of Entry in March 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. district court strikes down use of Title 42 to expel migrants

By: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the government from continuing Title 42,  a controversial pandemic-era health policy used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to expel nearly 2 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The request to halt the use of Title 42 had been filed by immigrant advocacy groups and the […]

FBI confirms a single juvenile suspect behind most bomb threats to HBCUs

By: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The FBI has officially announced that a single minor youth is the main suspect in most racially motivated bomb threats to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities earlier this year that terrorized students. The FBI in a statement on Monday did not release any further details — only that the individual is […]

Six GOP-led states win national injunction against Biden student debt relief plan

By: - November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Monday issued a nationwide injunction indefinitely blocking the Biden administration’s student debt relief program in response to a challenge by six GOP-led states. The unanimous ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis came after the six states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and […]

A smiling young Black woman holds an "I voted" sticker after voting at a polling place.

Young Black and Latino voters seen as key in turning back midterm ‘red wave’

By: - November 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Young Black and Latino voters were critical in holding off the Republican “red wave” in several battleground states for U.S. Senate seats and in tight U.S. House races in the midterm elections, according to analyses by researchers and grassroot organizations.  Young, diverse voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had the second-highest […]