breaking news

Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault

Cornyn praises GOP health plan; Cruz says it needs a lot of work


Highlights

Rep. Lloyd Doggett called for “extreme vetting” of the health care plan.

Sen. Cruz, now a key Trump ally, was scheduled to dine with the president in the White House.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Wednesday praised the House Republican health care plan as “the most significant entitlement reform in decades.” But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the American Health Care Act is very much a work in need of a lot of progress.

“As drafted, I do not believe this bill would pass the United States Senate,” Cruz said in a conference call with Texas reporters, noting that President Donald Trump was “exactly right” when he tweeted Tuesday that the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare is open to negotiation.

Cruz was to have an opportunity to tell Trump his thoughts on how the bill can be improved at a private dinner Wednesday evening at the White House at which Cruz, his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters, Caroline and Catherine, were expected to dine with the president and first lady.

The dinner, Cruz said, came at the president’s invitation. It demonstrates just how far their relationship has come since their bitter primary rivalry.

Cruz, now a Trump ally, said, “I am working hard to bring people behind repeal and replace legislation that honors our commitments and solves the problem.”

“That is not an easy task, but in my view, we cannot fail,” Cruz said. “For six years, Republicans have campaigned, promising the American people, if you elect us, we will repeal this disaster that is Obamacare that has hurt so many millions of Texans, that’s cost so many people their jobs, forced them into part-time work and seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket, and seen deductibles skyrocket, and seen people able to access fewer and fewer doctors and have less and less control over their health care.”

On the Senate floor, Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, applauded the act for, “putting Medicaid on a more sustainable path: not continuing to spend money that we don’t have and rack up annual deficits, and add to our national debt.”

On the other side of Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said at a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee that the GOP plan demands “extreme vetting.”

“Frankly, any vetting at all would be an improvement, because it has not been vetted in any public forum,” Doggett said. “When you buy something new — whether it’s a new pair of pants, a new car, a new appliance — it usually helps to ask two questions: What does it cost? What size is it?”

“On this new insurance plan, we are being asked to vote without knowing how much it costs and without knowing what size it is — how many it covers and how many millions of Americans are once again being left out,” Doggett said. “If you have nothing to hide, a week will not impair your effort.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault
Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault

Austin police have arrested a person of interest in an assault on Sixth Street that left a San Antonio man dead, according to law enforcement officials. The man was identified and taken into custody overnight after officials received numerous tips from the public who had seen photographs and surveillance video released by police. Police declined...
FORECAST: Heat and humidity hang on; small chance for afternoon storms
FORECAST: Heat and humidity hang on; small chance for afternoon storms

Thursday forecast for Austin: Swelter is once again the weather word on the last day of summer (astronomically speaking) as the unforgiving combination of heat and tropical humidity will combine to make it feel like hotter than 100 degrees outside.  The National Weather Service says high temperatures will reach 93 degrees in Central Austin, but...
OVERNIGHT: Fire displaces 11 from North Campus home
OVERNIGHT: Fire displaces 11 from North Campus home

A fire at a North Campus home displaced 11 people early Thursday, though other details remained sparse as authorities continued their investigation.   The blaze erupted shortly before 1:30 a.m. at a house on the 3300 block of Kim Lane, in the heavily student-populated neighborhood, and burned for more than half an hour before Austin firefighters...
Former Longhorn Ricky Williams arrested on warrants
Former Longhorn Ricky Williams arrested on warrants

Former Longhorn and Heisman Trophy award winner Ricky Williams was arrested in South Austin on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show. Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense on Manchaca Road at Ben White Boulevard, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said. He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show.  Williams...
Here’s how to help Mexico after deadly earthquakes
Here’s how to help Mexico after deadly earthquakes

Mexico still needs help after it was hit by two major earthquakes in as many weeks.  A 7.1-magnitude quake has left more than 200 people dead in Mexico City and the central states of Mexico State, Guerrero, Morelos and Puebla. And on Sept. 7, about 96 people died during an 8.2-magnitude earthquake – the strongest to hit the country in more...
More Stories