Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

President Donal Trump's signature pledge to American voters — a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — is threatening to become a model of unfulfilled promises.

He will try to turn the debate back to his political advantage with a rally at 8 p.m. Central Monday in El Paso. We will livestream PBS NewsHour's coverage and commentary here.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton assured lawmakers on Friday that his office hadn’t launched criminal investigations into nearly 100,000 voters flagged by the secretary of state’s office for citizenship review.

From Texas Standard:

Two Texas lawmakers are at the forefront of a renewed battle over President Donald Trump's tax returns.

From Texas Standard:

In Texas, gambling is illegal in almost all forms. But you’d never know it driving down Business 77 in Willacy County. It cuts through a rural area of the Rio Grande Valley, but bares a passing resemblance to Las Vegas. It’s a headache for law enforcement, but a remedy could be on the way.

Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the president can declare an emergency for just about anything. As President Trump has considered using that authority to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the Southern border, that near-unlimited presidential power has gotten a lot of attention. But it isn't the whole story.

From left, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speak with reporters after a briefing with officials about the US-Mexico border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.
Associated Press

Congressional bargainers seem close to clinching a border security agreement that would avert a fresh government shutdown, with leaders of both parties voicing optimism and the top GOP negotiator saying he believes President Donald Trump would back the emerging accord.

A bill in the Texas House of Representatives would make it a crime for telecommunications companies to impair mobile internet service in declared disaster areas. It comes after firefighters in California had their data plans “throttled” by Verizon during wildfires there.

From Texas Standard:

The GOP in Texas will face greater challenges in 2020 than it has for many years. Sen. John Cornyn and party Chairman James Dickey have acknowledged the problem.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

President Donald Trump's campaign announced Wednesday morning that he will hold a rally Feb. 11 in El Paso. The news came just hours after the president's State of the Union speech, in which he reiterated a repeatedly debunked claim that El Paso was one of the country's most dangerous cities until the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed and several miles of barriers were built in the border city.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

As a rule, presidents want to have it both ways in their annual State of the Union addresses.

They want to "reach out to all Americans" with uplifting appeals to unity and bipartisanship. But they can't resist pumping up the pep rally for their party and most loyal supporters.

If that applies to all presidents in all seasons, it surely applied Tuesday night to President Trump, who has found the halfway point of his term to be fraught with political travail.

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., watch, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
Associated Press

Facing a divided Congress for the first time, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Washington to reject "the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution." He warned emboldened Democrats that "ridiculous partisan investigations" into his administration and businesses could hamper a surging American economy.

President Trump delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night, a speech that had been delayed during the government shutdown.

The annual remarks came as a bipartisan group of lawmakers continue to negotiate border security funding and Trump's wall proposal — the central issue that led to the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

Tuesday night, President Trump stands before a joint session of Congress, assesses the state of the union and likely makes another case for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has said he'd be willing to shut the government down again if the funding doesn't materialize. 

But money has already been allocated for some border wall projects, including a 6-mile stretch of wall in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

NEW YORK CITY — Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday he will decide whether to run for president by the end of the month.

He made the comment during an interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who pressed him on his long-awaited decision — and whether he's given himself a deadline.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

President Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. He's expected to deliver a bipartisan message themed around "choosing greatness," while outlining what the White House calls a "policy agenda both parties can rally behind."

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display Tuesday night, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address but in who will be in the audience.

Furloughed federal workers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, school shooting survivors and the first inmate to benefit from a new criminal justice law will be among those to gather in the chamber of the U.S. House.

On Monday, Nevada's statehouse begins its legislative session by marking a major milestone. It's the first time in our nation's history that any state legislature holds a majority of female lawmakers. Just like the country, the body is slightly more than half women.

"It's been a long, hard fight. I'm starting to see some of the fruits of not just my labor, but the labor of so many other people whose names I don't know," says Patricia Ann Spearman, a Democrat and Nevada senator who was first elected in 2012.

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday morning, they renewed calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.

Northam has been silent since a Saturday news conference in which he said he did not take part in a racist yearbook photo from his days in medical school.

Monday morning, the Republican speaker of the House of Delegates called the controversy "a painful and heartbreaking moment for the commonwealth." Kirk Cox told reporters that "regardless of the veracity of the photo," the Democratic governor had lost the confidence of the people.

As calls continue for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo on his page in a 1984 yearbook, Virginians who have supported him are wrestling with what to make of the controversy and his insistence on remaining in office.

A few dozen people protested outside the governor's mansion Monday morning. Many in the crowd were the same people who have been protesting the placement of a pipeline compressor station in a historically black community in Virginia. Northam has supported the pipeline.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton attends an investiture ceremony at the Texas Capitol on Jan. 11, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

As he begins his second term, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is looking to expand the prosecutorial power of his office, asking the Legislature for more resources and expanded jurisdiction to go after crimes related to abortion and voter fraud.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that executing people with intellectual disabilities is cruel and unusual punishment.
Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., The Texas Tribune

 

If you’ve ever aspired to get your face on public access TV, this guide to testifying before council members at City Hall should make it pretty easy.

Meet Your Candidates For Fort Worth Mayor

Jan 31, 2019
Shutterstock

Three candidates have filed to run for Fort Worth mayor. Potential candidates have until Feb. 15 to file for the May 4 election. Let's meet the candidates.

With the government reopened — at least for now — following a 35-day partial government shutdown, President Trump's State of the Union address has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5.

In a letter sent to the president on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote that the two had agreed upon the new date next week, after she had postponed her original offer of Jan. 29 amid the shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited the president to give his State of the Union Address after the shutdown delay.
Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a new invitation to President Donald Trump to give his State of the Union speech on Feb. 5.

The civil rights group indicated the state could be putting tens of thousands of U.S. citizens on a pathway to be dropped off voter rolls
Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

 

US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D- El Paso, thanks the crowd of supporters as he leaves the stage during the Turn Out For Texas Rally with Willie & Beto held at Auditorium Shores in Austin on Sept. 28, 2018.
Rodolfo Gonzalez / The Texas Tribune

 

Facing wide encouragement to join the White House race, the former Democratic congressman from El Paso is taking his time, giving few outward clues and keeping even close allies and supporters in suspense. 

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, is stepping down from her two most powerful roles within congressional and House Democratic circles.
Associated Press

 

Democrats and immigrant rights groups were quick to oppose President Trump's proposal to end the government shutdown over the weekend because it includes $5.7 billion for an expanded border wall.

Now that they've seen the full language of the bill, they've found other reasons not to like it.

Pages