Politics

Government Shutdown
8:23 am
Mon October 7, 2013

No End In Sight: Shutdown Showdown Enters Week 2

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn speaks on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. Cornyn said the partial federal government shutdown cannot end unless President Obama sits down with congressional Republicans.
Chris Usher AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 11:26 am

The second week of the shutdown is, so far, looking a lot like Week 1. Even so, here are a few data points that might be worth your attention:

U.S. civilian defense workers heading back to work on Monday

As The Two-Way's Bill Chappell reported earlier, the Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees — amounting to about 400,000 workers — back to work.

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2014 Governor's Race
5:28 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Wendy Davis Announces Run For Governor

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Update: Our reporting partners at the Texas Tribune have a recap of Davis' announcement:  

Davis promised to be an advocate for those who feel they no longer have a voice in the halls of the Texas Capitol, to fight for more education dollars and to take on Republicans leaders who she said are listening to their campaign contributors instead of average Texans.

 "In Austin today, our current leadership thinks promises are just something you make to the people who write big checks," she said, according to remarks distributed before she delivered them. "But the promise I’m talking about is bigger than that. It’s the promise of a better tomorrow for everyone. Texas deserves a leader who will protect this promise. Texas deserves a leader who will keep it."

It’s a long campaign ahead. Republican opponent Greg Abbott has a head-start in fundraising; the Davis campaign is said to need to raise about $40 million to be competitive.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Only Days Left for Texans to Register to Vote This November

Melinda Avey is a Geographic Information System coordinator for Travis County. She was helping people register to vote on the UT campus on Oct. 3, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

The last chance to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election is Monday. And there’s another wrinkle for some: This is the first statewide election that requires voters to show photo ID. 

If you don’t have one of six approved government-issued photo IDs to bring with you to vote on Nov. 5, you can get an election ID certificate. I spoke to Travis County Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant at a Fiesta supermarket in South Austin, where he was getting the word out near a table set up by Department of Public Safety staff.

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Economy
12:32 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Treasury: New Debt Ceiling Fight Could Derail Economy

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew leaves the Capitol after a visit on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 2:30 pm

The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.

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2014 Governor's Race
6:29 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Greg Abbott Leads Wendy Davis By 8 Points In Statewide Poll

Texas Tribune

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 12:17 pm

A new statewide poll released Wednesday shows Republican Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the Texas governor’s race.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Lyceum, shows Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, leading with 29 percent. Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, has 21 percent.

But most registered voters don’t know who will get their vote – 50 percent are undecided.

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Government Shutdown
9:12 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Solution? None To Be Seen Yet, But Sides Will Talk

The Lincoln Memorial is officially closed. National parks and monuments are among the parts of the federal government affected by the shutdown.
Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:16 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mara Liasson on the government shutdown

(We most recently updated this post at 8:31 p.m. ET.)

We said it Tuesday: "No end in sight."

The story's the same a day later.

Pardon us for being repetitive, but there's no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

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Government Shutdown
4:49 am
Tue October 1, 2013

No End In Sight As Government Shutdown Nears First Full Day

Members of the U.S. Park Service place barricades around the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. A partial shutdown of the federal government has led to the closing of national parks.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:08 pm

Update at 8:18 p.m. ET. Impasse:

As first day of a federal government shutdown came to a close, Congress was not any closer to a resolution.

Case in point: Republicans in the House proposed three bills that would have reopened national parks, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and kept the D.C. government afloat. But all three bills didn't even make it out of the House.

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Government Shutdown
12:38 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Begins After Congress Fails In Spending Compromise

Members of the House of Representatives enter the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Congress failed to reach a budget agreement by the midnight deadline triggering a partial shutdown of the government.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:04 am

House Republicans and Senate Democrats could not reach agreement by the midnight deadline on a spending bill to keep the government operating, triggering an immediate shutdown of nonessential services and the furlough of nonessential personnel potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Updated at 1:40 a.m. ET, House Speaker Boehner's Comments:

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Affordable Care Act
4:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Texas 'Obamacare' Navigators Testify Against Extra Training Requirements

From left to right: Sam Brown, Kursten Berry and Demetrio Selman are navigators who have been trained by Houston nonprofit Change Happens.
KUT News

The Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance marketplace opens in Texas tomorrow. Workers known as navigators will help Texans sign up for health insurance. But these navigators are at the center of a political debate in Texas. 

Gov. Rick Perry recently directed the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to come up with more training and regulations for navigators. He based his directive on a new law authored by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, called Senate Bill 1795. 

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Government Shutdown
2:04 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Looming Shutdown: Senate Rejects Second House Measure

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, arrives for a Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 10:56 pm

Not even an hour after the House voted in favor of a bill that would avert a shutdown of the federal government, but also delay a key part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Senate rejected it with a vote of 54-46.

With less than an hour before the government runs out of authority to spend money, the ball is now back in the court of Speaker John Boehner in the House.

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Texas Tribune Festival
10:03 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Austin's 'Woodstock for Wonks' Brings Out Texas' Political Rockstars

Likely gubernatorial candidate Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, closed out this year’s TribFest.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

In a city fond of festivals – from Austin City Limits to Pachanga Fest – the just concluded Texas Tribune Festival stands out as the most successful event of its kind. Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith calls it 'Woodstock for Wonks': three days of peace, politics and policy on the UT-Austin campus, featuring a who's-who of Texas politicos.  

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Agenda Texas
7:45 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Ted Cruz Rehashes His Big Week in Washington

Sen. Ted Cruz packed the AT&T Center at UT-Austin to talk about his week in Washington
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Senator Ted Cruz  told a crowd in Austin tonight that he doesn't want the federal government to shut down. But the Tea Party favorite also said a shut down would happen if President Barack Obama and Democrats in the U.S. Senate refused to let Republicans de-fund the Affordable Care Act.

A Monday deadline looms for passage of a spending measure that's currently back in the House of Representatives.

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Politics
6:36 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Lawsuit Against Texas Abortion Law Gets Trial Date in Federal Court

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, speaks before the July 2013 launch of the "Stand With Texas Women" statewide bus tour of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. It was a campaign against House Bill 2.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

Planned Parenthood – together with several other groups -- filed a lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, in a federal court in Austin on Sept. 27. The aim is to block certain provisions of a new Texas law that restricts abortions.   

The preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 21 before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin. 

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Texas Abortion Law
4:27 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

You May Now Comment on Texas' New Rules for Abortion Clinics (Update)

People, some purposely in orange, came to testify before the Texas State Health Services Council on rules written by the health department that specify what abortion clinics must do to operate legally in Texas. The meeting took place on Aug. 28, 2013.
KUT News

Update: As of today, new specific rules regulating Texas abortion facilities are available for public comment.

The rules were drafted in response to House Bill 2, the abortion-restricting Texas law that Gov. Rick Perry signed in July. As the department that regulates abortion clinics in Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) wrote the specific rules after interpreting the Legislature’s intent.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

House Republicans have insisted that a spending bill contain language defunding Obamacare.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

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