Archives by: Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa

About the author

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation’s capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.
[email protected]

Ariana Figueroa's articles and posts

Congress Higher Ed News Top Story

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

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 June 30, and if litigation is still tied up in the courts, student loan payments will begin 60 days after that.

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Congress News Top Story

Migrant women endured medical mistreatment at Georgia ICE facility, U.S. Senate report finds

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate on an investigation panel on Tuesday grilled federal immigration officials about a bipartisan report that detailed how migrant women at an immigration detention center in Georgia underwent questionable gynecological procedures. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations released an 18-month bipartisan report that found migrant women who were detained at Irwin County Detention Center, known as ICDC, in Georgia were subjected to “excessive, invasive, and often unnecessary gynecological procedures,” and many of the women did not consent or understand the procedures they underwent. 

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

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

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 grassroots organizations.  Young, diverse voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had the second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades, with youth voter turnout at 31% in the nine battleground states of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin...

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Congress News Top Story

All eyes again on the Peach State: Georgia voters asked to decide U.S. Senate control

ALBANY, Ga.—Shayla Jackson knocks three times before slipping a card with voting information under the blue-painted doors of apartments at Wild Pines, a complex tucked behind Albany State University. As a canvasser for the nonpartisan New Georgia Project, a group dedicated to registering Black, brown and young voters and getting them to the polls, she’ll spend her day knocking on dozens of doors of registered Georgia voters.

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Congress News Top Story

Immigration advocates call again for DACA renewal in Congress, as possible end looms

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they remained hopeful Congress could create a legal pathway to citizenship before the end of the year for the more than 600,000 undocumented people enrolled in a program that is at risk of being deemed illegal by a lower court. Immigration rights advocates held a press call including Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Robert Menendez of New Jersey to stress the need for legislative action, following a recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a lower court decision in the Southern District of Texas.

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Education Top Story

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

First Lady Jill Biden will accompany Sec. Miguel Cardona to NC next week as part of "Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour" 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.

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Top Story

Candidates, mostly Republican, skip debates, bar press during midterm campaigns

WASHINGTON — With two months left of the 2022 campaign season, a majority of Republican candidates are continuing to skirt away from not only talking to local and national media outlets about their policy issues, but their own constituents, leaving voters with little information on their policy positions. “If we are to hold our elected officials accountable on their policy stance(s), we have to know what they are,” said Nicholas Valentino, a political science and research professor in the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan.

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Congress Higher Ed News Top Story

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

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant borrowers ...
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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

Proposal seeks to prevent repeat of confusion from January 2021 surrounding Vice President's role and duties WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators...

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Congress News Top Story

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

Industry sales and profits have skyrocketed as number of mass shootings has spiked 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.

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