Politics

Political news

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren
Julia Reihs / KUT

Despite the threat of a storm, thousands of people descended on Vic Mathias Shores on Tuesday for a rally for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of 20 Democrats vying for the presidential nomination in 2020.

Warren talked about child care, student loans, her tax plan and her anti-corruption plan, which she dubbed “the biggest since [anti-corruption laws enacted after] Watergate.”

A House committee will take up legislation on Tuesday aimed at preventing mass shootings, as lawmakers and the White House move to respond to a recent spate of attacks across the country.

The bills being considered by the House Judiciary Committee include measures that would limit access to high-capacity gun magazines and block any person convicted of a hate crime from obtaining a firearm.

Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro
Michael Minasi for KUT

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, the only Latino seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is struggling among likely Latinx voters in Texas.

Castro, the mayor of San Antonio from 2009-2014, had just short of 8% support among the voting bloc, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released Thursday.

A memorial for victims of a mass shooting
Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio

Democrats in the Texas House are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address gun violence — a move designed to place even more pressure on the state’s top GOP official to act in the wake of two deadly mass shootings just weeks apart.

Voters line up to cast ballots
Salvador Castro for KUT

Younger Texans are less likely to view democracy positively and more likely to want to significantly and structurally change American government, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released today.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

The third round of the Democratic presidential primary debates are down to only one night and just 10 candidates. But there’s still plenty to learn about each one’s platform and policy arguments.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Among the hundreds of new laws that took effect in Texas on Sunday, several are related to health. Here are a handful that took the legislative spotlight. 

Voting signs
Salvador Castro for KUT

Minorities and elderly voters will likely be the most affected by the elimination of straight-ticket voting in 2020, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Gov. Greg Abbott meets with El Paso area state legislators
Jesus Rosales for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that “mistakes were made” in his fundraising letter that used alarmist language in calling to “DEFEND” the Texas border and was dated one day before a deadly shooting that targeted Hispanics in El Paso.

Frank Pomeroy, pastor of the Sutherland Springs church where a mass shooting took place in 2017.
Bob Daemmrich

Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of the Sutherland Springs church where the 2017 fatal shooting took place, announced Sunday he is running for Texas Senate.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro
Michael Minasi for KUT

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted Tuesday morning that he has achieved the polling requirement to qualify for the primary debate in Houston this fall.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Until somewhat recently, being a Texas Democrat was kind of a bummer.  

Jason Stanford, a longtime Democratic operative in the state, says he got data on the scope of that political melancholy in 2006 while running a gubernatorial race.

President Donald Trump
Lynda M. González for KUT

Beginning in June, thousands of voters across the country saw a fundraising plea in the form of a Facebook ad from the president’s official social media page. It described how the “fake news media” would bolster Donald Trump’s reelection bid.

Beto O'Rourke
Jesus Rosales for The Texas Tribune

Nearly two weeks after suspending his presidential campaign in response to the mass shooting in El Paso, Beto O’Rourke plans to return to the trail Thursday.

The Democratic former congressman will restart following a speech in his border city hometown that will “outline the path forward for his presidential campaign,” according to his campaign.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the only openly gay candidate vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, held an event in downtown Austin during the Pride parade Saturday.

Michael Minasi for KUT

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro announced a "plan to disarm hate" Friday morning, less than a week after a deadly shooting in El Paso that targeted Hispanic immigrants.

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has apologized to members for taking a meeting with hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan that has since thrown the lower chamber into chaos.

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe
U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Heath Republican, will remain in Congress instead of replacing Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday.

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd
Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House's last black Republican member, Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes, announced Thursday that he is retiring from Congress. President Donald Trump's racist comments about elected officials weighed heavily on Hurd, who has often spoken out against the rhetoric.

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen met with hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan in his office earlier this summer, after the legislative session. State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, was in the room too. No one denies the June 12 meeting happened — but their disagreement over what was said could have major implications for Texas, after two GOP lawmakers who heard the recording disputed Bonnen's account.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit did not stray from its predicted script: It was open season on front-runner Joe Biden right from the start.

But it was also something of a free-for-all, with every candidate for himself or herself. And the intensity and outcome of the exchanges may have come as a surprise to some of the people onstage.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former Vice President Joe Biden traded barbs on several issues, but they also faced criticism from other candidates on Wednesday's debate stage. NPR reporters shared real-time analysis and context for the presidential hopefuls' talking points.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A new study says Texas' system of levying fines and fees to restore formerly incarcerated people's voting rights prevented nearly 333,000 people from voting in 2016.

The Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A U.S. district court has ruled Texas doesn't need federal oversight of its 2021 redistricting efforts.

Wednesday's decision is part of a larger lawsuit from voters who challenged the state’s 2011 political maps. Courts have found Texas officials intentionally discriminated against racial minorities when they drew those maps and ordered parts of the maps to be redrawn.

The 2018 Texas Democratic Convention in Fort Worth.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Democrats are hoping to flip six congressional seats in Texas in 2020. On Monday, Wendy Davis announced she’s running for one them.

Sen. John Cornyn
Julia Reihs / KUT

Republican Sen. John Cornyn is facing a growing field of challengers to keep his seat, with the entry of Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards. Other Democratic candidates already in the contest include Air Force veteran M.J. Hegarformer Congressman Chris Bell and Houston activist Sema Hernandez.

Former state Sen. Wendy Davis
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Wendy Davis is getting support from some of the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — as she appears to move closer to run for Texas' 21st Congressional District.

U.S. Capitol
Liam James Doyle / NPR

For the third time since President Donald Trump took office, Democratic Congressman Al Green of Houston pressed the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach the president Wednesday.

And for the third time, Green failed.

An illlustration of two people facing each other with microphones
Angela Hsieh / NPR

The second round of Democratic presidential primary debates are coming up. But instead of watching the next one home alone, why not make it a party?

June Conway helps Eric Hood register
Qiling Wang for KUT

Advocates say they're hoping to register more Texans with disabilities ahead of the constitutional amendment election in November and the presidential primaries next year.

Across the country, voter turnout among people with disabilities is lower than those without disabilities.

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