Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune

Julia Reihs / KUT

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called Monday for "bipartisan participation" in addressing sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee of Judge Brett Kavanaugh that have thrown the prospects of his pending confirmation vote into chaos.

Department of Defense

Sixteen years ago, it was a beautiful enough morning that Pete Olson, a staffer in the U.S. Senate, chose to drive from suburban Virginia into work with his Jeep’s top down. Just as the future Sugar Land-based congressman passed the Pentagon, his wife called to tell him a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings.  

Doug Young/Michale Stravato

Just as the fall television ad wars are about to begin, a new NBC News/Marist poll of Texas registered voters shows a tight U.S. Senate race between U.S. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

WASHINGTON - After days of outcry, the Trump administration appears to be backing off of a contentious new policy that separated more than 2,000 immigrant children from their parents who crossed the border illegally.

The "zero-tolerance" policy, announced in April by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has mandated the separation of thousands of children from their parents who face criminal prosecution for illegal border crossings.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced emergency legislation Monday evening to keep immigrant families together after they cross the border into the United States.

Laura Skelding/Douglas Young

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has some breathing space from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Robin Jerstad

WASHINGTON — A new poll released Wednesday suggests the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is far more competitive than many political observers have initially thought.

The poll from Quinnipiac University shows the two men in a dead heat: 47 percent of registered voters in Texas support Cruz, the Republican incumbent, while 43 percent back O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat.

Laura Skelding /Douglas Young

When U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced his latest fundraising haul earlier this month – a stunning $6.7 million – it was widely expected to surpass what his rival, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, brought in over the same period. Now it's clear by how much: roughly $3.5 million.

Facebook

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, resigned on Friday.

The decision marks the capstone of a tumultuous few months for the four-term congressman, who has been dogged by sexual harassment allegations and an ongoing ethics investigation.

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump told U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Friday that he backs efforts by Texas' senior senator to revamp the nation's background check system for purchasing firearms, the White House confirmed Monday.

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Corpus Christi Republican, hasn't yet paid back the $84,000 in taxpayer dollars the federal government gave his former spokeswoman in a sexual harassment settlement, according to a new CNN report. 

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, will retire from Congress after finishing his current term, according to a source close to the congressman.

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. House Ethics Committee unanimously voted Thursday to establish a subcommittee to investigate allegations that U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Corpus Christi Republican, sexually harassed a subordinate several years ago.

Bob Daemmrich

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold settled a sexual harassment claim brought by a former staffer with $84,000 in taxpayer funds, according to a Politico report published Friday.

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON — Embattled U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, announced his retirement from Congress on Thursday.

"I am very proud of my public record and the many accomplishments of my office. It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades, but now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice."

Official House portrait

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week. 

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," he said. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down." 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

This post has been updated.

WASHINGTON — Texas' two U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, on Monday withdrew their support for Roy Moore, the embattled GOP nominee for Senate in Alabama. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — Texas' two U.S. senators found themselves under intense pressure Thursday after explosive allegations surfaced that a candidate both men have endorsed pursued underage teenage girls decades ago. 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, is retiring from Congress, two sources close to the congressman told The Texas Tribune on Thursday.

"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else," he wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune. "... With over a year remaining in my term, there is still much to do. There is legislation to enact, dozens of hearings to hold and hundreds of votes to cast."

Laura Skelding/Douglas Young

WASHINGTON — A weird and wild U.S. Senate race could be shaping up in the state of Texas next year. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a conservative stalwart who came in second in last year's raucous fight for the Republican presidential nomination, is poised to face off against Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a former punk rocker from El Paso.

House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, on Thursday walked back controversial comments about sexual assault she made a day earlier.

The issue has become a topic of national conversation since dozens of prominent women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Insurance coverage for more than 390,000 Texas children and pregnant women is in jeopardy after Congress failed to renew authorization for a federal program.

Congressional authorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health insurance for children from low- and middle-income families, expires Sept. 30.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel. 

Bob Daemmrich

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison testified on Thursday that she would take a tough stance on Russia if she is confirmed as the new ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

"We are beefing up defenses for an aggressive Russia," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that she supports lawmakers considering new sanctions on Russian in response to its cyberattacks at home and abroad. "I think that Congress is doing the right thing." 

Ayan Mittra

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing hard to keep the Senate health care bill's prospects alive, amid a rollercoaster week at the U.S. Capitol. 

On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders postponed taking up a major overhaul of the health care system as several Republicans and all of the chamber's Democrats maintained opposition. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON - Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate on Thursday unveiled their plan to overhaul President Obama's 2010 health care law. Within hours, Texas' two Republican senators took opposite positions on the measure.

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON - Amid multiple Trump-related scandals rocking the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump from the House chamber on Wednesday morning. 

"I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice," he said. "I do not do this for political purposes. ... I do this because I believe in the great ideals this country stands for: liberty and justice for all. 

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — John Cornyn withdrew from consideration to be the next FBI director on Tuesday, saying the "best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate."  

Laura Skelding / Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is on the short list to succeed James Comey as FBI director, according to a White House official. 

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