Dec 3rd - 3:06 pm
Governor Rick Perry has reversed his stance on E-Verify.
He’s now ordering state agencies to use the system to make sure those applying for state jobs or working for contractors are in the country legally. Four years ago, Perry criticized the federal E-Verify system, saying it “would not make a ‘hill of beans’ difference when it comes to what’s happening in America.”
At a Wednesday news conference, the governor said the system has been improved. Under E-Verify, employers can enter in names and Social Security numbers of new hires. That will let them know whether they are citizens or have proper visas for employment.
At the news conference, Perry also took time to blast President Obama’s executive order on immigration. He says it will trigger a new flood of people illegally entering Texas from Mexico.
Dec 3rd - 2:56 pm
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced legal action Wednesday challenging President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Texas, is part of a 17-state coalition.
Abbott, the governor-elect, issued the following statement:
“The President’s unilateral executive action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law. The Constitution’s Take Care Clause limits the President’s power and ensures that he will faithfully execute Congress’s laws – not rewrite them under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion.’ The Department of Homeland Security’s directive was issued without following the Administrative Procedure Act’s rulemaking guidelines and is nothing but an unlawfully adopted legislative rule: an executive decree that requires federal agencies to award legal benefits to individuals whose conduct contradicts the priorities of Congress.”
Jul 23rd - 11:50 am
The fate of the Affordable Care Act is once again in the hands of the courts. A federal appeals court dealt a critical blow to a key component of Obamacare Tuesday. Then, just hours later, another panel ruled to keep the law in tact.
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we explained how the decisions could put subsidies for health insurance at risk and what that could mean for nearly 600,000 Texans counting on them.
The surge of immigrant children continues, while Congressional action is delayed another day.
We spoke to Congressman Roger Williams about whether any legislative answer has a chance of passing.
Plus, Gov. Rick Perry has officially called in the cavalry to help DPS officials at the Texas-Mexico border. Is the move a practical solution or political stunt? Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi weighed in on that question and more.
Jul 11th - 7:05 pm
After a rough week for the University of Texas’ leadership, we sat down with Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune, Christy Hoppe of The Dallas Morning News, and Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle to decode how regents, lawmakers and student leaders really feel about President Bill Powers.
Powers was the center of several controversies, and his recent timeline for resignation has people talking in both the Texas government and the University of Texas school system.
Obama was the talk of the town this week when he stopped by Austin. Although the visit to Texas was originally just for fundraising, a large portion was shared with Gov. Rick Perry, who managed to get a meeting with the president over the recent crisis along the border. Our Reporter Roundtable looked at the politics behind the visit.
While efforts to increase funding are stalled, nonprofit organizations are picking up the slack when it comes to caring for the thousands of immigrant children detained at Texas’ southern border. The organizations, including Roy Maas Youth Alternatives and RAICES, offer shelter and basic needs to the children affected.
Plus, we checked in on the grand jury hearing looking into whether Gov. Perry abused his powers last session, when he threatened to defund the state’s Public Integrity Unit.
Jul 9th - 8:37 pm
The simmering conflict between the Board of Regents and UT Austin President Bill Powers has cooled down for now. University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has accepted Powers’ offer to stay on until June of 2015, after initially demanding President Powers’ resignation by Thursday. At a faculty meeting on campus, Powers addressed supporters and explained his plan moving forward.
Meanwhile, immigration issues jumped back into the spotlight Wednesday, during President Barack Obama’s visit to Texas. After touching down in Dallas, the president accompanied Gov. Rick Perry in Marine One to discuss border control and the current immigration crisis.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard the president’s response to Perry’s suggestions, and how local business leaders are framing the immigration issue.
While both sides of the political aisle are blaming each other for inaction, faith-based volunteers are already making a difference behind the scenes. Jeffery Patterson of the Texas Catholic Conference joined us to discuss the nonprofit’s outreach and his concerns for the Central American children and families crossing the border.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s time has finally come. In Washington D.C., Mayor Castro was officially confirmed as Housing and Urban Development Secretary. The Senate voted 71-26 to appoint Castro to the position.
We checked in from San Antonio, where Castro talked about his and the city’s political future. Plus, Harvey Kronberg from The Quorum Report sat down with us to review all the day’s issues, from immigration to political power games.
Sep 10th - 10:34 pm
President Barack Obama used a prime-time television address to make his case for military action Tuesday night, while staying open to the possibility of diplomacy. In just over 15 minutes, the president explained his thinking on the civil war in Syria and asked for the American public’s support for a targeted strike against chemical weapons facilities. Click the logo below to see the speech in its entirety.
Jul 25th - 12:00 pm
Texas political leaders are commenting on remarks made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding Texas voting laws.
Holder told members of the National Urban League on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice will ask a federal court to require Texas to ask for permission before changing its election laws. The move follows a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that essentialy eliminated the use of a pre-clerance provision of the Voting Rights Act for states with a history of discrimination.
“Once again, the Obama Administration is demonstrating utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution,” Republican Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement released in response. “This end-run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.”
Democratic State Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston had a different take on Holder’s announcement.
“I applaud Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to join the lawsuit that would require Texas to submit all voting law changes for preclearance for the next decade,” Ellis said in his own statement released to the media. “Anyone who thinks Texas doesn’t need continued oversight simply hasn’t been paying attention.”
Ellis added that, in his view, Texas has clearly shown a repeated and documented history of discrimination against minority voters, pointing to last year when he said Texas was singled out as the only state to pass redistricting maps which were deliberately discriminatory.
“This is hopefully just the first step,” Ellis said. “Congress needs to take action [to] revamp the Voting Rights Act to create a formula which takes into account current and historical discrimination and bias while meeting the requirements the Supreme Court has set out. Otherwise, the voting rights of millions of Americans are in peril.”
Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was also quick to respond to Holder’s comments.
“By first going around the voters and now the Supreme Court, Attorney General Holder and President Obama’s intentions are readily transparent,” Cornyn said in a released statement. ” This decision has nothing to do with protecting voting rights and everything to do with advancing a partisan political agenda. Texans should not — and will not — stand for the continued bullying of our state by the Obama Administration.”
Mar 6th - 4:48 pm
Some Republican lawmakers are taking issue with the Obama administration’s decision to close the White House doors to visitors. Citing the sequester, the visitors’ office announced yesterday that due to staffing issues tours would be put on hold indefinitely, starting Saturday. The move comes as Congress was unable to compromise on a budget deal and the spring tourism season is about to hit full swing in Washington, D.C.
In an email statement today, U.S. Rep Roger Williams called the closure “deeply troubling and disturbingly ironic.”
Today, U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25) made the following comments regarding the White House’s decision to cancel all public tours blaming the federal spending cuts, known as the sequester. Williams said:
“For many Americans a family or school trip to our nation’s Capitol is a once-in-a-lifetime event. To cancel all public tours, essentially closing the doors of the White House, is wrong. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, as it requires minimal federal dollars to allow the public access to the White House. If the President was serious about cutting spending, he would negotiate in good faith with Congress to find more desirable solutions.
“I want to let those who are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. know that the Capitol will remain open. My office is happy to continue arranging tours of the Capitol and many other historical landmarks regardless of any reductions in our office budget.”
In addition, Rep. Louie Gohmert, who represents parts of east Texas, is looking to keep the president off the links until the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are back open to the public. The Hill is reporting he filed an amendment stating ”None of the funds made available by a division of this act may be used to transport the President to or from a golf course until public tours of the White House tours resume.”