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 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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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

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 symptoms and the duration of illness.

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Congress News Top Story

Effects of gun violence on kids probed by U.S. Senate committee

Experts say repeated exposure to trauma is changing and harming American kids WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday examined the public health effect gun violence has on children. “Guns are killing our kids at a devastating rate,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chair of the committee, said in his opening statement.

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Congress News Top Story

What gun control proposals will the U.S. House consider? Here’s the list

WASHINGTON — Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee have unveiled a gun control legislative package that they plan to mark up Thursday morning. The package, named the Protecting Our Kids Act, is made up of eight bills related to gun control, all first introduced in 2021 by Democratic lawmakers. Only one had any Republican co-sponsors, and it’s unlikely the package will find much GOP support.

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Congress News Top Story

Frustrated Democrats call for GOP help on federal gun laws after mass school shooting

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday implored Senate Republicans to work with Democrats to pass bipartisan gun control legislation, following a mass school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Texas. Tuesday’s massacre was the nation’s second-deadliest mass school shooting since another at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago.

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Top Story

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting and destroying public education,” James Whitfield, a former principal in Texas and one of the witnesses, told lawmakers.

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Health Law and the Courts News Top Story

Overturning Roe would hand power over abortion to states. Many would ban it.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a nearly 50-year-old right to abortion would lead to strict restrictions or bans by states across nearly half the country almost immediately. The court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, as well as a subsequent ruling on fetal viability, according to an initial draft of a majority opinion in a pending abortion case published Monday by Politico.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Health risks for families in military private housing probed by U.S. Senate panel

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel on Tuesday grilled officials running private housing for service members about reports of deplorable living conditions from military families. The hearing, led by Chairman Sen. Jon Ossoff, a Georgia Democrat, and top GOP member Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, followed a joint release of a report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

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Congress Education News Top Story

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

Students in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama. In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was assassinated.

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