Congress

Jon Ossoff/Twitter

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday was a late night for political junkies, and residents of Georgia's 6th Congressional District, who were voting to decide on a new member of Congress. CNN called the race just after midnight. There will be a June runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff – who won just under 50 percent of the vote – and Republican Karen Handel. The special election had pitted Ossoff against 11 Republicans.

Congressman Ted Poe
U.S. House of Representatives/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble) surprised observers last week when he announced he would leave the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers whose opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) put them at odds with President Donald Trump and House leadership.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

Groups supporting President Donald Trump’s policies like ‘Great America Alliance’, ‘America First Policies’, and ‘Making America Great’ provide cover for ongoing political fights – from healthcare to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. But there are signs that these groups are willing to go so far in promoting the Trump agenda that they could end up turning their fire on fellow members of the GOP who don't cooperate with their goals.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke's Facebook page

With flights canceled up and down the eastern seaboard Tuesday, two Texas members of Congress went all Thelma and Louise across the state — the start of a cross-country road trip so they could cast votes at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Helotesa Republican, and Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, a Democrat, faced weather-related flight cancelations, so they opted for a 24-hour drive across Texas and beyond.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time at the Capitol around 8 CT on Tuesday night. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs.

Qiling Wang for KUT

In 2009, Tea Party protests across the country energized a segment of conservative voters, enabling Republicans to take control of both chambers of Congress.

Inspired by Tea Party tactics, progressive groups today are organizing to put pressure on Republican congressmen in town hall meetings. While the events have been grassroots efforts, many people are organizing under the umbrella of a movement called Indivisible, which, it turns out, has roots in Austin.

Qiling Wang for KUT

During trips to their districts this week, Republican congressmen representing the Austin area will not be holding town halls, even though many constituents have been asking for them.

That hasn’t stopped groups from holding town halls of their own – even if the member of Congress they want to talk to isn’t there.

flickr.com/wallyg

Republicans in Washington are planning to make good on promises to roll back federal regulations on everything from mining pollution to consumer protections for credit card holders.

To do it, they are using an obscure legislative tactic that’s been successful only once in history – a tactic has some legal scholars worried.

KUT

Around the country, Republican congressmen are facing angry crowds at town hall meetings – mostly from people defending the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Twitter/NationalPost

From Texas Standard:

Early in the morning on Sunday, June 12 a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at an Orlando gay nightclub. The lone shooter used a rifle similar to an AR-15 – a Sig Sauer MCX, which was originally designed for the U.S. Special Operations forces.

The tragic event sparked further outrage over the United States’ current gun control laws, which allow these types of guns to be purchased by the public.

 


KUT News

The automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect tomorrow could have a big impact on Texas. Specifically, cuts to army bases could cost the state’s economy nearly $2.5 billion.

For many people in Killeen, next to Fort Hood, the spending cuts are just abstract numbers. For Cheryl Eliano, president of the Fort Hood branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, they’re all too real.

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

With President Obama and some legislators from both parties pushing immigration reform, Texas’s Sen. John Cornyn says he does not support a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s immigration laws.

Instead, he advocates stricter enforcement of existing laws.

Google Maps

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows three of the seven congressional districts in Central Texas are less diverse and have higher white population percentages than the entire state, among other characteristics.

The Census Bureau is now releasing demographic breakdowns by individual congressional districts, a first for the department

KUT News

Almost one out of five Texas households is at risk of hunger, according to a new report by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says 18.5 percent of Texans households experienced “low or very low food security” from 2009 to 2011. The Texas rate exceeds the national average by almost four percent and is the third highest rate of “food insecurity” in the country.

The USDA considers a family “food secure” if it has enough nutritious food to eat without having to rely on emergency food supplies, scavenging or stealing food. The USDA has used food insecurity as a measure since 2006 because it says “hunger is an individual-level physiological condition” which is more difficult to track.

Google may be facing new investigations into its Street View program, which collected 600 gigabytes of personal data including e-mails, passwords, pictures and web searches while its vehicles roamed the streets.

U.S. Capitol
Image courtesy Andy-Beal www.flickr.com/photos/sel/

According to a new Rasmussen poll, the more things change in Washington, the more voters do not expect better results.