Politics | KERA News

Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

A coalition of state attorneys general is suing the Trump administration for weakening the federal nutrition standards for school meals that are fed to about 30 million children across the country.

Updated Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.

As more 2020 Democrats report their fundraising totals, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains ahead in the cash race with the $18.2 million he received from more than 500,000 donors since he entered the presidential campaign in February.

Welcome to the nightmare of being the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, Joe.

Two women have complained about being touched inappropriately by former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been the leading (if still undeclared) candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Biden's poll numbers, while far from overwhelming, have still been the best of the ever-widening Democratic field. So any story that even hints at a Biden scandal is going to lead the newscast and leap to the front page.

During his official presidential campaign kickoff rally in El Paso over the weekend, Beto O’Rourke directly refuted President Trump’s view of the country’s Southern border.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during his presidential campaign kickoff rally in Houston, Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke declared that immigrants make the country safer as he staged rallies across Texas to formally kick off his 2020 White House bid. 

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.

Days after Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report, overwhelming majorities of Americans want the full report made public and believe Barr and Mueller should testify before Congress, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Only about a third of Americans believe, from what they've seen or heard about the Mueller investigation so far, that President Trump is clear of any wrongdoing. But they are split on how far Democrats should go in investigating him going forward.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley office initiated a review of the voter rolls to look for noncitizens.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The U.S. House’s main investigative committee has opened an inquiry into the Texas secretary of state’s review of the voter rolls for supposed noncitizens.

Texas House Approves 2020-21 Budget Plan, With Extra $9B For School Finance, Property Tax Relief

Mar 28, 2019
Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Zerwas, R-Richmond, talks with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on March 27, 2019, as the House took up the budget debate.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

In Dennis Bonnen’s first major test as speaker of the Texas House, the chamber he oversees resoundingly passed a $251 billion budget Wednesday after a long but largely civil debate — a departure from the dramatics that have typically defined such an affair.

Beto O'Rourke got lots of attention from his campaign kickoff in Keokuk, Iowa. And thanks to some of his comments, not all of that attention was good.

At the start of his speech, O'Rourke referenced a call from his wife, Amy, "who's back in El Paso, Texas, where she is raising, sometimes with my help, Ulysses, who's 12 years old, Molly, who's 10, and their little brother, Henry, who is 8 years old."

To some Democratic voters, that seemed like a flip acknowledgment that he was handing off parenting duties to his wife while he pursued his political dreams.

There were two headline "principal conclusions" out of Attorney General William Barr's publicly released letter to Congress about the now-concluded Russia probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller:

  1. It "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, according to a summary of findings submitted to Congress by Attorney General William Barr.

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," Barr wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon.

Pu Ying Huang / For The Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — By the time U.S. Sen Kamala Harris, D-California, took the stage here Saturday, the message was clear.

Updated April 2 at 4:52 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report has been a long time in the making.

Mueller was appointed in the spring of 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr received a report on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller about the findings from Mueller's investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election.

Most people in America want the Electoral College gone, and they want to select a president based on who gets the most votes nationally, polls say.

Democratic presidential candidates are weighing in too.

"Every vote matters," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in Mississippi on Monday. "And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College."

That line garnered one of her largest roars of applause for the evening.

Gregg says that change would radicalize politics.

A version of this story was first posted by member station WBUR.

From Texas Standard:

Though he hasn't made an official announcement, Texas Monthly recently reported that Joaquin Castro could soon announce plans to challenge John Cornyn for his Senate seat in 2020. If Castro runs, his own seat in Congress will be open. He represents a district that's been solidly Democratic for years, and now some are speculating about who would run to replace him. 

Gilbert Garcia, metro columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, has been pondering the musical-chairs game of sorts that a Castro Senate bid could set in motion.

Garcia says San Antonio comprises five congressional districts, and that the 20th is the one Democrats covet most.

The White House is reflected in a puddle, Friday March 22, 2019, in Washington, as news breaks that the special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian election interference.
Associated Press

This report originally published at 4:31 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2019.

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited final report on the contentious Russia investigation that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump's presidency, entangled Trump's family and resulted in criminal charges against some of the president's closest associates.

Democratic presidential hopefuls are betting on bold.

The majority of the Democrats running for president want to create a national health insurance program. Several want to do away with private health insurance entirely. Candidates are engaging on questions about reparations for slavery, and most of the White House hopefuls have endorsed the goal of a carbon-neutral economy within the next decade.

Increase the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Several candidates are now on board.

Julian Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio and the former Director of House and Urban Development announced on January 12, that he is a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination.
Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

Just over two months into his bid for president, Julián Castro said Tuesday evening that he does “not at all” feel overshadowed by fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke amid the former El Paso congressman’s splashy presidential campaign rollout.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Parliamentarian Karina Davis on on the Senate floor on Jan. 9, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, was on the floor of the Texas House in 2015 trying to convince her colleagues to open up the state to medical cannabis, and it was not going well.

Beto O’Rourke has begun the long process of introducing himself to potential voters in Iowa.

The former congressman from El Paso, who officially announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, made several stops throughout the state over the past few days. Candidates often give Iowa special attention because it's the first state in the nation to hold a presidential-nominating contest.

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks to local residents during a meet and greet at the Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Burlington, Iowa.
Associated Press

Democrats who've been competing longer than Beto O'Rourke are taking offense at the former Texas congressman's sense of entitlement.

From Texas Standard:

At 4:30 a.m. El Paso time Thursday, Beto O'Rourke confirmed, in a video with his wife at his side, that he's tossing his hat into the ring, so to speak, and running for president. O'Rourke is one of 15 Democrats who've announced their candidacy so far. 

Richard Pineda is an associate professor in the Department of Communication and director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. Pineda says though O'Rourke will be up against another Texan in the primaries, Julián Castro, O'Rourke is "head and shoulders above" him because of the support he generated during his 2018 Senate race.

A controversial and incomplete section of the border wall along the Rio Grande River in South Texas.
Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

But multiple Republican senators joined Democrats in backing the resolution, which passed the Senate. President Donald Trump has said he'll veto the measure.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives in the Senate where she has said she will vote for a resolution to annul President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 14, 2019.
Associated Press

The Republican-run Senate firmly rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday, setting up a veto fight and dealing him a conspicuous rebuke as he tested how boldly he could ignore Congress in pursuit of his highest-profile goal.

Here Are 9 Things To Know About 2020 Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke

Mar 14, 2019
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, right, stands with his wife, Amy Sanders, at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. O'Rourke lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Associated Press

Questions began last year about whether Beto O’Rourke, then a Democratic congressman from El Paso, would run for president. No matter that he was still in the midst of challenging Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

With former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s announcement today, two Texas Democrats are now seeking the presidential nomination in 2020.

“It is surprising,” said longtime Democratic strategist Colin Strother. “It’s the first time, I believe, it’s happened in my lifetime.”

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris says she was bent toward a career fighting for civil rights almost since birth.

The Democrat is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who met at the University of California, Berkeley, and were active in the movement during the 1960s.

"I was born realizing the flaws in the criminal justice system," she told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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