Our daily digest is a mid-day update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re watching:


Trump’s Tone:

President Donald Trump took a drastically different tone today at a stop in Reno, Nevada.

It comes one day after a fiery speech in Arizona where he railed against the media and members of his own political party.

At 7, we’ll have the latest on how Trump’s rhetoric could create immediate new problems for Republicans on Capitol Hill.


Sen. Cornyn’s Reponse:

Texas’ senior Senator John Cornyn referred to Trump’s government shutdown threat if a wall wasn’t built as a negotiation tactic.

“I think that’s part of, that’s President Trump the negotiator, laying down the tough line,” Cornyn said.

Speaking to reporters after an event with veterans in Austin this morning, Cornyn wouldn’t say whether Trump’s remarks were helping or hurting the Republican agenda in Washington.

Instead, he referred to Trump’s fiery speech in Arizona as him being in “campaign mode.”

“I think the president was speaking to a very enthusiastic base of voters that helped him win on Nov. 8. But my experience is running for election is very different than governing. And it’s really important that we work together with the president to try to get his agenda passed.”

Cornyn, the majority whip and second most powerful lawmaker in the Senate, also didn’t deny that Sen. McConnell and Trump aren’t on speaking terms. But he did say he and McConnell communicate with the White House daily.


Veteran Truckers:

Military services affords veterans countless skills and experiences. Now one Texas lawmaker wants to make it easier for veterans to put some of those skills to work.

US Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, says he wants to make it easier for military veterans to go from driving vehicles on the battlefield, to driving trucks at home.

It’s called the Jobs for Our Heroes Act.

It’s aimed at streamlining the process by which active duty service members, reservists, and veterans with experience operating heavy vehicles in the military can apply for a civilian commercial drivers license.

Sen. Cornyn says he wants to ensure that hardworking veterans with the right skills are able to find good work after they’ve left the battlefield.

“I think it not only keeps our commitment to our active duty military once they become veterans, but it also helps employers like Coca-Cola get the trained workforce they need in order to keep doing their job,” Cornyn said during a visit to Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages in Austin today.

Cornyn says the bill will go to the full Senate this fall for a vote.


Ag Commissioner Sid Miller:

While the debate over removing Confederate statues is back in the spotlight following Charlottesville, the conversation is not new — particularly here in Texas.

There are more than 150 confederate statues and place names in the state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

And while the University of Texas recently removed three of them from the campus’ main mall, if state lawmakers had passed a bill in 2007 by then State Rep. Sid Miller, they’d likely still be standing.

“Any monuments on the Capitol ground, before they can be removed, have to be approved by the State Preservation Board,” Miller said. “The legislation that I introduced and did not pass, would have expanded that to state properties, which would have included the University of Texas.”

The current Agriculture Commissioner also said he doesn’t agree with removing the statues.

“We need to preserve our history, we don’t need to sanitize it. It is what it is and we need to preserve that for future generations so they can learn from it,” Miller said.

Watch our full interview with Miller at 7pm.


Political Analysts:

Democrat Harold Cook and Republican Ted Delisi discuss President Trump’s fiery speech in Arizona and the debate over confederate statues.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm on Spectrum News.


Posted by Karina Kling