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.

Hundreds of people gathered at Washington Square Park in New Orleans on March 31, 2023, for a march to mark Transgender Day of Visibility. (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)

U.S. House Republicans spar with HHS secretary over transgender youth, child labor

By: - June 14, 2023

U.S. House Republicans grilled a senior Biden administration official about gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

White House to name coordinator to push back against book bans, among new LGBTQ protections

By: - June 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — As part of the celebration of Pride month, the Biden administration on Thursday announced several new protections for LGBTQ+ youth and families, including the position of a federal coordinator to counter the massive wave of book bans across the country. President Joe Biden was scheduled later Thursday to host a Pride event at the White […]

Black borrowers hold a disproportionate share of student loan debt, and many likely were recipients of Pell Grants.

U.S. Senate votes to block student loan relief, White House will veto

By: - June 1, 2023

The 52-46 vote forced vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2024 to take a public stance on loan forgiveness

As Congress preps for debt limit vote, Pa.’s Perry slams the deal

By: and - May 30, 2023

'I am focused on defeating this bill,' House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-10th District, said.

Biden, McCarthy say they have brokered a debt limit deal to avert U.S. default

By: and - May 27, 2023

McCarthy was expected to speak with members of the House Republican conference on a call later Saturday night.

A default on the U.S. debt would be far worse than a government shutdown. Here’s how

By: , , and - May 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — A U.S. default on its debt would have a significantly broader impact on federal operations, financial markets and the global economy than recent government shutdowns that have left ordinary Americans largely untouched. While the two have been confused frequently during debate over the debt limit, the federal government has had considerable practice with […]

Democratic attempt to expel Santos from U.S. House handed over to ethics panel

By: - May 18, 2023

Pennsylvania's U.S. House delegation broke along party lines, with two Democrats voting present on the resolution.

Pa.’s U.S. Rep. Smucker: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is a ‘bailout’

By: - May 17, 2023

U.S. House GOP lawmakers zeroed in on culture war issues as they grilled U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.


Pa. Republicans back bill to reinstate Trump-era immigration policies

By: and - May 12, 2023

The symbolic legislation has no future in the Senate. And President Joe Biden has said he will veto it.

Pa.’s Perry: Debt crisis ‘created by reckless Democrat policies and out of control spending’

By: and - May 11, 2023

The U.S. House GOP wants spending cuts — and $10B in home-state earmarks -- to avoid a potentially catastrophic default.

Bernie Sanders unveils push for $17/hr. federal minimum wage, citing state increases

By: - May 4, 2023

'You have billionaires who don't know what to do with their money, buying yachts and going off into outer space, so the time is long overdue,' Sanders said.

McDonald's Sign

At Kentucky McDonald’s, 10-year-olds worked past midnight, feds say

By: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — Children as young as 10 were found working past midnight at a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville, Ky., the U.S. Department of Labor said in announcing numerous civil penalties levied on fast-food franchises. As part of an investigation into federal child labor law violations in the Southeast, the Department of Labor said that three separate […]