Politics

Political news

Alex Brandon / AP

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, will face the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. Sessions, a Republican who has served in Congress for two decades, has had his nomination protested for his record on civil rights, voting rights and criminal justice. A key controversy: In 1986, the Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions' nomination to be a federal judge.

Via Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: State Rep. Dawnna Dukes confirmed to The Texas Tribune in an email Monday that she is not resigning from her post representing House District 46. The confirmation comes two days after news reports surfaced indicating she had changed her mind.

Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of the legislative session two years ago.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: The members of the Texas Legislature may be elected to represent all corners of the state, but they’re not necessarily reflective of it.

White lawmakers make up almost two-thirds of the Legislature, but only 43 percent of the state population is white. Men make up half of the state’s population but hold almost 80 percent of the Legislature's seats. Just about any way you slice the numbers, the makeup of the Legislature is at odds with the state.

With the 85th Legislative Session set to gavel in Tuesday, here’s a look at the demographics of the Legislature by lawmakers’ race, gender, age, education and religion.

Charlie Pearce/Texas Tribune

UPDATE (6 p.m., Saturday): A longtime spokesperson for Rep. Dawnna Dukes told KUT News Saturday evening that the report of Dukes' change of plans would be news to him.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

The intelligence report on Russia's interference in the U.S. elections concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" that aimed to help President-elect Donald Trump.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune


After months of sparring over whether transgender Texans should be allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday officially set the legislative stage for the debate.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: A hotly contested legislative session in 2015 led to two controversial gun laws: One that allows for the open carry of handguns and another that permits the concealed carry of handguns on Texas college campuses. 

Liang Shi for KUT

It's just a week until the start of the 85th session of the Texas Legislature. And, while you've probably heard lots of stories about lawmaker priorities for the 140-day session, it's not always about what bills are being debated, but whether the Texas House or Senate is leading the charge.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

People living in parts of South and Central Austin will be sending a new representative to the state legislature this month. 

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Chris Suprun, a Texas Republican elector, caused a stir this year by raising the possibility that he would cast his Electoral College ballot for someone other than President-elect Donald Trump.

Journalists bombarded the Dallas man with questions following his admission. Among them: For whom did he vote in November?

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many people have channeled their political anxiety – and elation – into social media. Some community organizers in Austin are working to help people go beyond those online platforms and get involved with the causes they care about. 

Bob Daemmrich / Laura Skelding

From the Texas Tribune: The race to be President-elect Donald Trump's agriculture secretary is heating up, and two Texans appear to be at the center of it.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas electors helped officially send Donald Trump to the White House Monday.

The 38 people in Texas who officially get to pick the next president were also met with hundreds of protesters at the Texas Capitol, though, who were hoping to convince them to vote for someone other than Trump.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Today at the Texas State Capitol, electors will cast their votes for president of the United States. The expectation, of course, is that they will vote for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote, President-elect Donald Trump.

Providing new details about how it's trying to counter the spread of fake news on its services, Facebook says it's working with fact-checking groups to identify bogus stories — and to warn users if a story they're trying to share has been reported as fake.

Facebook also says it will let users report a possible hoax by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post and choosing one of four reasons they want to flag it — from "It's spam" to "It's a fake news story."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: President-elect Donald Trump has officially selected former Gov. Rick Perry, a rival turned loyalist, to lead the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Trump formalized the appointment in a statement early Wednesday morning, two days after reports surfaced that he had settled on Perry to be his energy secretary.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Today is runoff election day in the Austin area. You'll be forgiven if you didn't even know there was a runoff election.

Only about 3 percent of registered voters cast a ballot during the early voting period. If you vote today, you'll likely just see two races on the ballot – both for places on the Austin Community College board of trustees. But for those who live in northwest Austin, there’s a third race – this one for city council.

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