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.

Machinery is situated along rail tracks on Feb. 14, 2023, in East Palestine, Ohio. A train operated by Norfolk Southern derailed on Feb. 3, releasing toxic fumes and forcing evacuation of residents. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)

Federal government to send medical experts to site of Ohio train derailment

By: - February 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — The federal government is sending medical personnel and toxicologists to conduct public health testing following the derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials that released into a small town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. A team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be […]

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Funding needed to curb fentanyl smuggling at ports of entry, administration officials say

By: - February 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials at a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday on the deadly illicit drug fentanyl said they need more money for better screening technology at ports of entry at the Southern border. They also said the U.S. needs to keep pressure on China due to its role in the sale of chemicals used […]

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Sept. 8, 2022. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden renews a call for action on gun control following Michigan State mass shooting

By: - February 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden at an annual meeting with county leaders on Tuesday said there is much more work to be done on gun control legislation —  such as banning assault-style weapons, which are typically used in most mass shootings.  The call again for gun control came after a school shooting at Michigan State […]

The White House South Lawn. (Getty Images)

White House taps Indiana, New Mexico governors for federal-state council on national security

By: - February 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday the appointment of Govs. Eric J. Holcomb, an Indiana Republican, and Michelle Lujan Grisham, a New Mexico Democrat, to a special bipartisan board that strengthens the federal and state partnership on matters pertaining to national security. The Council of Governors consists of 10 members selected by the president […]

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

U.S. House GOP preps for debates on ‘parents rights,’ school vouchers and transgender athletes

By: - February 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans laid the groundwork for some top legislative priorities during a Wednesday hearing that examined public funding for charter schools and voucher programs, as well as increasing parents’ oversight of school curriculum.  The Republican chair of the Education and the Workforce Committee, North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx, provided a forum for […]

(Getty Images)

U.S. Senate Democrats unveil legislation to ban high-capacity gun magazines

By: - February 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, along with 27 of his U.S. Senate colleagues, introduced legislation Tuesday to ban high-capacity magazines, which can be used on the type of semi-automatic firearm that is typically used in most mass shootings.  “High-capacity magazines were designed for one purpose and one purpose only — high-capacity killing […]

The House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Who’s on the guest list for the State of the Union speech?

By: and - February 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — While members of Congress may not be able to speak during the State of the Union address, they often get their message across through the guests they bring. This year is no exception. Lawmakers through their invitees attempted to signal their approval or disapproval of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, or […]

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Biden in State of the Union speech to call for bipartisan action on fentanyl crisis

By: - February 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday night is expected in his State of the Union address to call on Congress to work with the administration to address in a bipartisan manner the fentanyl crisis, administration officials said on a call with reporters. Biden will call for expanded access to opioid-related addiction treatment and announce […]

Immigrants wait overnight next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum in the United States on Jan. 7, 2023, as viewed from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

White House targets economic development in Central America to reduce migration

By: - February 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House Monday announced nearly $1 billion in investments to address economic causes of migration in several Central American countries, an effort being spurred by Vice President Kamala Harris.   Spread over several years, 10 private companies from Target to Nestlé are pledging $950 million to create economic development in Honduras, El Salvador […]

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argues with the chairman during a hearing about the Mueller Reporter in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, June 10, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. House Judiciary’s debut hearing on the border centers on blame for fentanyl crisis

By: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee blamed the Biden administration for fentanyl drug smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border during a Wednesday hearing. Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio also blamed U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the number of migrants at the border, and said there are already hundreds of […]

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Lengthy timeline for DACA legal fight puts lives on hold for years

By: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — Karen Judith Briseno Ortiz mailed in her application for a program meant to protect undocumented children from deportation, one day after her twin sister’s application. Her sister was accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but Briseno Ortiz, who grew up in Dallas, was not. Now her application is in limbo […]

An aerial view of the American flags flying over an international bridge as immigrants line up next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum on Dec. 22, 2022, in El Paso, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

By: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, […]