Congress

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

There’s a whole lot of potential change right now on the Texas political landscape. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has a challenger for his office from fellow Republican Trey Blocker, a longtime lobbyist who will take on the colorful incumbent. It’s the most serious intra-party challenge to a sitting statewide official – at least so far.

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From Texas Standard.

The U.S. House passed its version of a tax bill on Nov. 16, and now the Senate is racing to pass its own version before the end of the year.

As the clock ticks down, what ultimately happens with this tax bill could shape the terms of engagement for the midterm elections in 2018.

A small group of GOP senators may not be on board with the plan yet. John Diamond, director of Rice University’s Center for Public Finance, says that at least one senator is concerned that the tax plan doesn’t help small businesses.

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From Texas Standard.

A new proposal from Republican lawmakers would cut some tax rates and overhaul portions of the U.S. tax code. House Republicans rolled out the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Washington on Thursday.

Among the most controversial aspects of the GOP tax plan is that it lowers the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. Current homeowners wouldn’t be affected, but new borrowers would only be able to deduct the first $500,000 – that’s down from the current limit, which is $1 million.

John Diamond, director of Rice University’s Center for Public Finance says that the mortgage deduction change could lower Texas home values by 1-2 percent.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune for KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott was in Washington on Tuesday, seeking additional federal funding for Harvey relief and getting an earful from Texas' congressional delegation – a group he called "spineless" a few weeks ago when he felt they weren't working hard enough to bring home the bacon.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

All eyes were on Alabama, Tuesday, as incumbent Luther Strange and conservative firebrand Roy Moore faced off in the state’s Republican senate primary. Moore won, despite the fact that Strange was supported by President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The race will be decided next month, when Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones. And the upset of Strange, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has many wondering whether other Republican incumbents should be worried. Even in Texas.

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