Politics


Texas group helped Russians meddle in 2016 elections, FBI says

A federal indictment accusing 13 Russians and three Russian entities of plotting to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election said the defendants got help from an unidentified “Texas-based grassroots organization.” The defendants, posing online as U.S. citizens to approach a number of political and social activists, were advised by a member of the Texas organization to focus their...
Susan Steeg faces Democratic challenger in justice of the peace race

Susan Steeg faces Democratic challenger in justice of the peace race

Handling traffic citations, eviction or debt collection cases might not sound like the sexiest job on the ballot this March, but both Democratic Precinct 3 justice of the peace candidates said the job offers a unique chance to help residents. “Most people overlook JP court,” said Sylvia Holmes, associate director at the University of Texas’ Legal Services for Students. “But...
PolitiFact: Bush’s military career didn’t reach ‘retirement’ level

PolitiFact: Bush’s military career didn’t reach ‘retirement’ level

George P. Bush, seeking a second term as Texas land commissioner, touts his time in the Navy in a campaign mailer brought to our attention by his predecessor. “Did you know there are 1.7 million veterans in Texas alone?” Bush’s mailer opens. His message continues: “Retired U.S. Navy officer George P. Bush is committed to protecting our veterans who have served this great nation...
6 Republicans, 4 Democrats try for Rep. Farenthold’s soon empty seat

6 Republicans, 4 Democrats try for Rep. Farenthold’s soon empty seat

Six Republicans and four Democrats are running for Congressional District 27, an open House seat that stretches from Bastrop to Corpus Christi. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, currently occupies the spot but gave up his re-election bid in December after a House committee began investigating sexual harassment claims made against him by a former aide. Farenthold, who is wrapping up his...
PolitiFact: State share of education spending declines

PolitiFact: State share of education spending declines

A candidate for lieutenant governor says state government has whoppingly slashed its share of spending on public schools since the 1980s. Scott Milder, a former Rockwall City Council member challenging Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, poses and answers questions on his campaign website including: “Does Texas spend enough on public education?” Milder’s posted response...
Court-at-Law No. 3 judge faces Democratic challenger

Court-at-Law No. 3 judge faces Democratic challenger

As Travis County faces racial disparities in its jails, both Democratic judicial candidates for Court-at-Law No. 3 said tackling the issue will be among the biggest challenges for the winner. This summer, the civil rights organization Grassroots Leadership revealed that, according to an analysis of 2015 jail booking data, African-Americans on average stayed in the Travis County Jail nearly twice as...
5 Democrats running with hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Roger Williams

5 Democrats running with hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Roger Williams

Five Democrats, ranging from political newcomers to a Central Health board member, are running to unseat U.S. Rep. Roger Williams in the staunchly Republican 25th Congressional District. Austin defense attorney Chris Perri leads the pack of Democrats in money raised — $102,668, which includes $16,890 he made in personal loans to his campaign as of Dec. 31. Following closely behind is former...
Miller faces 2 challengers in GOP agriculture commissioner primary

Miller faces 2 challengers in GOP agriculture commissioner primary

In the Republican contest for agriculture commissioner, incumbent Sid Miller’s spending, hiring and social media practices are front and center. Miller has been under fire in his first term for sharing insensitive posts and false information on social media, instituting rate increases for many services his agency provides, taking state-paid trips for personal reasons, and hiring the wife of...
Legislature expected to weigh in on Austin sick leave rules

Legislature expected to weigh in on Austin sick leave rules

Debate over a requirement that businesses in Austin provide employees with up to eight days of paid sick leave annually might be just getting started, despite the City Council’s approval of the measure early Friday. But the setting for the next fight is likely to be the Texas Capitol, not City Hall, according to representatives of a number of local and state business groups. “The vast...
Democratic candidates for Hays judge diverge on rail, water

Democratic candidates for Hays judge diverge on rail, water

The two Democratic candidates vying next month to face former Commissioner Will Conley, a Republican, in November to become the next Hays County judge are no strangers to the local election circuit. Abel Velasquez challenged the now-outgoing Judge Bert Cobb in 2014 and lost. Ruben Becerra narrowly lost to San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides by 42 votes in 2016. Now, Democratic voters will decide in the...
Playing to an audience of one, Dan Patrick doesn’t need your approval

Playing to an audience of one, Dan Patrick doesn’t need your approval

Dan Patrick has been a salesman of Paper Mate products and class rings, a local TV sportscaster and weatherman, a restaurant and nightclub owner, a conservative radio personality, an author, a filmmaker and a politician. He has attended Lutheran, Catholic and Baptist churches. He has gone by Dannie Scott Goeb, Danny Scott and Dan Patrick. He was hospitalized for depression, underwent a vasectomy live...
Scoffing at Texas tolls to carry less cost starting in March

Scoffing at Texas tolls to carry less cost starting in March

People who choose to drive on Texas tollways without paying are about to get a big break. Make that, on some Texas tollways. More on that below. As first reported by KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation fines for ignoring toll bills on March 1 will go from “My God!” level to “Meh,” thanks to laws passed by the 2017 Legislature. And even...
PolitiFact: Do Texas school districts offer sex education?

PolitiFact: Do Texas school districts offer sex education?

Houston businessman Andrew White, a Democratic aspirant for governor, said that when he’s elected, he’ll step up sex education in schools. White, speaking on Texas Public Radio, declared: “There is a large number of schools in Texas that don’t even offer sex education. Now that, to me, it’s bizarre. So we have to make these investments. If you really are serious about...
State’s top business group boosts political activity ahead of primaries

State’s top business group boosts political activity ahead of primaries

The state’s most powerful business lobbying group has been beefing up its political donations, in keeping with a vow to be more proactive after spending much of 2017 on the defensive as social conservatives in the Legislature pushed measures — such as the so-called bathroom bill — that it viewed as bad for the Texas economy. The rift between the Texas Association of Business and...
With McCain’s retreat, some look to Romney to carry traditional GOP torch

With McCain’s retreat, some look to Romney to carry traditional GOP torch

In more ways than one, followers of traditional Republican orthodoxy are facing an emotional inflection point this week.  Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at home battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, will not attend this weekend's Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of foreign policy leaders from NATO nations that has become a central clearinghouse for global security matters and...
Mike Pence bought a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife at . . . CVS Pharmacy

Mike Pence bought a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife at . . . CVS Pharmacy

Hey, isn't that . . . Vice President Mike Pence, on Wednesday night dropping by a retail spot known for its selection of gifts every woman loves? The Veep was spotted on Valentine's Day making his way out of the CVS at Pennsylvania Avenue and 19th Street NW. And it seemed he hadn't just made the drugstore run for a pack of gum.  CBS White House reporter Jacqueline Alemany tweeted about the sighting...
Mnuchin calls on Congress to look into gun violence, breaking with rest of White House

Mnuchin calls on Congress to look into gun violence, breaking with rest of White House

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday called on Congress to look into issues related to gun violence less than 24 hours after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida.  "I will say, personally, I think the gun violence — it's a tragedy what we've seen yesterday, and I urge Congress to look at these issues," Mnuchin said at a House Ways and Means Committee...
Oprah says people are trying to persuade her to run for president, but she hasn’t received a calling

Oprah says people are trying to persuade her to run for president, but she hasn’t received a calling

Preliminary polling showed that there was high interest among women in an Oprah Winfrey presidential candidacy in 2020. According to a Quinnipiac poll in January, women would back the former talk-show host 58 percent to 33 percent against President Trump. Men were evenly divided, with 45 percent supporting each.  But Winfrey shared that some influential men have encouraged her to consider a run...
Former GOP lawmaker’s blunt words on gun control: ‘Republicans are not going to do anything’

Former GOP lawmaker’s blunt words on gun control: ‘Republicans are not going to do anything’

As his fellow Republicans offer thoughts and prayers after yet another mass shooting, former Florida congressman David Jolly wants to burn the gun policy impasse to the ground.  "Republicans are not going to do anything on gun control," Jolly told The Washington Post on Thursday as the nation reeled from 17 deaths across the peninsula from his former district. "And history shows...
The AR-15, a symbol of America’s political gulf, is easy to use and obtain

The AR-15, a symbol of America’s political gulf, is easy to use and obtain

The AR-15, the military-style rifle that a gunman used to kill 17 people at a south Florida high school Wednesday, is at once a ferociously powerful weapon, a symbol of freedom and individualism, and an object of despairing worry about the future of democracy.  It is, depending on which political and social camp you belong to, "America's rifle," a way to "Control Your Destiny"...
GOP leaders consider steps, including contempt, after Bannon refuses most questions

GOP leaders consider steps, including contempt, after Bannon refuses most questions

House Republican leaders are weighing "further steps" to force former top White House strategist Steve Bannon to answer investigators' questions in their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — including potentially declaring him in contempt of Congress — after a Thursday interview they called "frustrating."  Bannon came to speak with the House Intelligence...
Immigration bills fail in Senate, casting doubt on whether Congress can resolve fate of ‘dreamers’

Immigration bills fail in Senate, casting doubt on whether Congress can resolve fate of ‘dreamers’

The Republican-led Senate on Thursday blocked both President Donald Trump's immigration plan and a bipartisan alternative, a failure that cast doubt on whether Congress will ever resolve the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.  In a series of afternoon votes, senators failed to muster enough votes for a Republican plan backed by Trump that would have granted legal...
The gun debate after the Florida school shooting is very quickly going nowhere

The gun debate after the Florida school shooting is very quickly going nowhere

Republican former congressman David Jolly took to CNN on Wednesday night - hours after 17 students were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida - and delivered a commentary on gun control that has since gone viral. "There is a lot that is perhaps unknown, politically," the Floridian began, "but let's be brutally honest about what we do know, and I say this as a Republican: Republicans...
Amid Alamo management concerns, Bush will leave nonprofit board

Amid Alamo management concerns, Bush will leave nonprofit board

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush plans to resign this spring from the board of the Alamo Trust, the nonprofit that manages day-to-day operations of the state’s most iconic site. The decision follows reporting last week by the American-Statesman about an unreleased draft audit report, prepared by internal auditors for the General Land Office, that found that the agency’s use of the...
Central Texas congressional delegation reacts to Florida shooting

Central Texas congressional delegation reacts to Florida shooting

Members of Congress representing Central Texas reacted with sadness and frustration after a 19-year-old gunman Wednesday killed 17 people at a Florida high school that he used to attend. Authorities say Nikolas Cruz, who had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, returned to the campus with an AR-15 rifle and “began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school...
Pence to tour border, raise money in 2-day Texas trip

Pence to tour border, raise money in 2-day Texas trip

With the Trump administration laying down a harder line as Congress debates immigration policy, Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Texas on Friday to tour the Mexican border and meet with area law officers. Pence also will take part in fundraising events during his two-day trip, which concludes Saturday in Dallas, as part of a strategy that will see the vice president travel across the country...
Abbott ad: You said ‘no’ to Wendy Davis, now say ‘no’ to Sarah Davis

Abbott ad: You said ‘no’ to Wendy Davis, now say ‘no’ to Sarah Davis

Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign is escalating the air war against Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis by launching a fourth TV commercial, this one focusing on abortion policies and likening the moderate renegade to her unrelated namesake, Wendy Davis, Abbott’s Democratic rival in 2014. “You said ‘no’ to Wendy Davis. Now it is time to say ‘no’ to Sarah Davis,&rdquo...
VIEWPOINTS: How Austin should reapproach police contract negotiations

VIEWPOINTS: How Austin should reapproach police contract negotiations

We welcome the Austin Police Association’s decision to restart negotiations on an employment contract after the Austin City Council in December uncharacteristically rejected an agreement hammered out over months between city staff and the police union. In past years, when both parties reached agreement, the council routinely approved the deal. This time, however, it was the City Council voting...
Herman: Politics, can we talk about it more please?

Herman: Politics, can we talk about it more please?

Texas, we need to talk. And we need to talk about what we talk about and what we don’t talk about. Apparently – surprisingly? – it turns out too few Texans talk about politics. A new study says that’s bad for our civic health. So, in the name of improving our civic health, please take time today get a political conversation going with somebody. Here are two suggested opening...
George P. Bush plans to step down from nonprofit Alamo Trust board

George P. Bush plans to step down from nonprofit Alamo Trust board

12:30 p.m. update Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush plans to resign this spring from the board of the Alamo Trust, the nonprofit that manages day-to-day operations of the state’s most iconic site. “Commissioner Bush continues to demonstrate his dedication to ensuring the highest level of integrity, accountability and transparency in Alamo operations,” Bush press secretary Britanny...
Maldives crisis could stir trouble between China and India

Maldives crisis could stir trouble between China and India

As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power before another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India, which have long competed for influence in the Indian Ocean region.  Yameen, who this month declared a state of emergency and rounded up...
Abbott ad: You said ‘no’ to Wendy Davis. Now say ‘no’ to Sarah Davis.

Abbott ad: You said ‘no’ to Wendy Davis. Now say ‘no’ to Sarah Davis.

10:47 a.m. update: Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign is escalating the air war against Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston by launching a fourth commercial against the moderate renegade that likens her on the issue of abortion to her unrelated namesake, Wendy Davis. The Abbott campaign on Wednesday evening previewed the 30-second ad — which will go on TV next week — via the Texas...
How one Congressman is responding to bad press

How one Congressman is responding to bad press

There are many ways elected officials can respond to criticism from their local newspaper: A letter to the editor. A call to the publisher. A tweet. Or they can just ignore it.  Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican at the center of the storm over the release of a classified memorandum challenging the FBI investigation of President Donald Trump and Russia, has come up with a response particularly...
Trump’s military parade could cost $30 million

Trump’s military parade could cost $30 million

President Donald Trump’s military parade will not come cheap.  Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, estimated Wednesday that the public display of America’s military might that Trump has called for could cost between $10 million and $30 million, and said the government would have to come up with a way to cover the cost.  Funding for the parade was not included in the...
Romney to announce bid for U.S. Senate seat in Utah

Romney to announce bid for U.S. Senate seat in Utah

Mitt Romney plans to announce his long-expected U.S. Senate bid on Thursday in his adopted state of Utah with a low-key rollout intended to duck roiling Republican divisions and avoid signaling that he will play the role of foil to President Donald Trump.  Wednesday night, however, Romney said he would delay Thursday's announcement because of the Florida school shooting in which at least 17 people...
Trump, a week after Porter resigned, says he’s “totally opposed” to spousal abuse

Trump, a week after Porter resigned, says he’s “totally opposed” to spousal abuse

One week after Rob Porter, his staff secretary, resigned amid spousal abuse allegations, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was “totally opposed to domestic violence,” his first condemnation of the alleged conduct behind a scandal that has engulfed the White House.  His statement, which members of both parties had said was long overdue, came as John F. Kelly, Trump&rsquo...
White House admits it knew of red flags in aide’s record

White House admits it knew of red flags in aide’s record

The White House changed its story on Tuesday about how it handled allegations of spousal abuse against Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned in disgrace last week, conceding that the FBI told White House career officials last summer about problems in Porter’s background check. But members of President Donald Trump’s team said top advisers in the West Wing were kept in the dark. ...
With deadline looming, Senate making no progress on immigration bill

With deadline looming, Senate making no progress on immigration bill

Democrats and Republicans are maneuvering to blame each other for any failure to resolve the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, as the Senate inches toward votes on various immigration proposals that all appear to lack enough support to pass.  President Trump issued a statement Wednesday saying he would oppose any plan that fell short of a bill sponsored by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley...
Paxton: 3 Texas school districts illegally supported candidates

Paxton: 3 Texas school districts illegally supported candidates

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday sent cease-and-desist letters to three Texas school districts — Brazosport, Holliday and Lewisville — that he said had illegally used school resources to advocate for political candidates and measures. “My office fully encourages Texas schools to educate their students on civic duties and assist them in registering to vote. But pushing...

Dawnna Dukes says desk fell on her the night of Democratic forum

In a Facebook post Tuesday night, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes said an adjustable standing desk fell on her the night she was supposed to be at a forum for Travis County Democratic candidates. “PAIN is indeed a 4 letter word; & full body sprains do hurt more than breaks,” Dukes, D-Austin, said in the post. “A varidesk hurts real bad when it slides into you and pens you hard on concrete...
Fake news and bots may be worrisome, but their political power is overblown

Fake news and bots may be worrisome, but their political power is overblown

How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election?  The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all.  This conclusion may sound jarring at a time when people are concerned about the effects of the false news articles that flooded Facebook and other online outlets during the 2016 election. Observers...
A former pharmaceutical executive is running for Senate in New Jersey

A former pharmaceutical executive is running for Senate in New Jersey

Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, announced he is running for the Republican nomination for Senate here Tuesday, giving Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez a deep-pocketed potential challenger as he seeks re-election after federal corruption charges against him were dropped.  Hugin, 63, was a top executive at New Jersey-based Celgene for nearly 20 years and has been exploring a bid for...
Trump’s infrastructure plan emphasizes private funding over public interest

Trump’s infrastructure plan emphasizes private funding over public interest

President Donald Trump’s $200 billion plan to rebuild America upends the criteria that have long been used to pick ambitious federal projects, putting little emphasis on how much an infrastructure proposal benefits the public and more on finding private investors and other outside sources of money.  Unveiled Monday, the infrastructure program that Trump has championed since the campaign...
Longtime Trump attorney says he made $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels with his money

Longtime Trump attorney says he made $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels with his money

A longtime personal attorney for President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he paid $130,000 to an adult-film star who had told people she had an affair with Trump a decade before he won the presidency.  Michael Cohen, who had previously dismissed stories about the payment, said he paid Stormy Daniels - whose real name is Stephanie Clifford - using his own money, rather than involving the Trump...
White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser

White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser

The White House struggled Tuesday to contain a widening crisis over its handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior official, as it reeled from sworn testimony by the FBI chief that directly contradicted what President Donald Trump's aides had presented as the official version of events.  FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the agency completed...
White House let Rob Porter keep job even after receiving final FBI report

White House let Rob Porter keep job even after receiving final FBI report

The FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, said on Tuesday that the bureau delivered final results in January of its background investigation into Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned in disgrace amid spousal abuse allegations. But the White House allowed Porter to continue serving in his post until the accusations surfaced publicly in press reports last week.  In testimony on Capitol Hill...
Russia sees midterm elections as chance to sow fresh discord, intelligence chiefs warn

Russia sees midterm elections as chance to sow fresh discord, intelligence chiefs warn

As the midterm elections approach, Russia is likely to throw more propaganda at Americans, using people sympathetic to their messages and fake personalities on social media — many of them run by bots — to sow further political and social divisions in the United States, the top U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday.  The intelligence chiefs warned the Senate Intelligence Committee...
Big Republican advantages are eroding in the race for House control

Big Republican advantages are eroding in the race for House control

The Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot has slipped over the last few weeks. But Republicans have gradually lost advantages of their own.  Slowly but surely, the considerable structural advantages — like incumbency, geography and gerrymandering — that give the Republicans a chance to survive a so-called wave election are fading, giving Democrats a clearer path...
Four Republicans compete for Williamson County commissioner seat

Four Republicans compete for Williamson County commissioner seat

Four Republicans are competing for the chance to be Williamson County’s next Precinct 4 commissioner in the primary in March. Vying to face off against Democrat Carlos Salinas in November are Russ Boles, a commercial broker; David Marek, a truck driver for Williamson County’s Road and Bridge Division; Heather Peal, a managing partner of an engineering and construction firm; and Bobby Seiferman...
Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance a first in Texas

Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance a first in Texas

Just before 1 a.m. Friday, the Austin City Council voted in what could be described as the most progressive labor policy for the entire state and possibly the American South. At the behest of Council Member Greg Casar, the council made Austin the first city in Texas to require private employers to provide paid sick leave, a move that quickly garnered national attention in both kudos and criticism...

City Council approves plan to replace security boxes after burglaries

The Austin City Council approved a plan Thursday to replace the locks on security boxes in apartments and commercial buildings across the city, months after police investigators said one of the master keys first responders use for emergencies was likely stolen and used in burglaries. Per the council’s direction, the overhaul is not to exceed $300,000, which is how much city staffers estimated...

Police praise, critics blast City Council’s move to restore stipend pay

To the disappointment of activists and the praise of the city’s police union, Austin City Council on Thursday voted to restore special police stipend pay that was lost when the meet and confer agreement between the city and the union fell apart last year. Starting on Feb. 18, officers will receive the following pay benefits: Bilingual officers and those who work mental health...
House Oversight Committee launches probe into Rob Porter's employment

House Oversight Committee launches probe into Rob Porter's employment

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the White House’s employment of staff secretary Rob Porter in the wake of allegations that he abused his two ex-wives, committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said Wednesday. Porter submitted his resignation Feb. 2. Gowdy told CNN that the committee launched a probe Tuesday night into Porter’s employment...
Trump rewrites GOP playbook in his own image

Trump rewrites GOP playbook in his own image

President Donald Trump is remaking the Republican economic playbook in his own image, abandoning ideological consistency in favor of a debt-busting strategy that will upend how Washington taxes and spends trillions of dollars each year.  After pushing a $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress late last year, the president last week signed a two-year budget deal that lifts federal spending caps...
Debate grows as vote nears on Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance

Debate grows as vote nears on Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance

A proposed ordinance that would require private employers to give paid sick leave to tens of thousands of Austin workers is garnering national attention as the Austin City Council is poised to take a vote on the issue Thursday. Already state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, and a Koch brothers-backed lobbyist group have vowed to pre-empt any paid sick leave regulation passed by the City Council in next...
Moscow might rename the street that houses the U.S. embassy ‘North American Dead End’

Moscow might rename the street that houses the U.S. embassy ‘North American Dead End’

It's not exactly the Cold War. But things are heating up between the United States and Russia over something very silly: the name of the streets that house each other's embassies.  Back in January, District of Columbia city officials voted unanimously to rename the street on which the Russian embassy sits. On Jan. 10, the street was redubbed Boris Nemtsov, after a slain Russian democracy activist...
How Trump plans to turn $200 billion into $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending

How Trump plans to turn $200 billion into $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending

President Donald Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan proposes that the federal government put up $200 billion in incentives and investments over 10 years, leaving state and local governments and private industry to come up with the rest.  Here’s a look at how the plan may pan out, and what the challenges will be in turning $200 billion into $1.5 trillion.  The premise is...
Trump administration proposes 8 percent budget cut at National Weather Service, reduction in staff

Trump administration proposes 8 percent budget cut at National Weather Service, reduction in staff

Fresh on the heels of the costliest year on record for weather disasters, with economic damages exceeding $300 billion in the U.S., the Trump administration has proposed cutting the National Weather Service's budget by about 8 percent. It also recommends eliminating 355 jobs at the agency, including 248 forecasting positions  The overall budget decrease for fiscal 2019 totals just over $75 million...
Omarosa on Pence: ‘He thinks Jesus tells him to say things’

Omarosa on Pence: ‘He thinks Jesus tells him to say things’

Former reality star turned White House aide turned reality star Omarosa is still going strong — and spilling tea — as a contestant on "Celebrity Big Brother."  On Monday night's episode Omarosa, who previously declared on the show that she wouldn't vote for Donald Trump again "in a million years," said that a Mike Pence administration would actually be worse. ...
Obamas’ portraits aren’t the first to draw mixed reviews

Obamas’ portraits aren’t the first to draw mixed reviews

Just a few hours since the Obamas' portraits were officially unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington the keyboard critics wasted no time chiming in. It doesn't look like her! It's beautiful. What's up with the bush?  Who knew a presidential portrait could draw so much fire and fury? Actually, we all knew. The official canvas snapshots of each commander in chief have been easy...
Trump: U.S. expenditures in Middle East have been ‘a mistake’

Trump: U.S. expenditures in Middle East have been ‘a mistake’

President Donald Trump said Monday that U.S. aid expenditures in the Middle East were "a mistake," undercutting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he pursues a round of complicated diplomacy in Arab capitals this week.  The president's erroneous claim that the United States has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East over the past 17 years signals a return to a frequent theme for Trump...
Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest

Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest

President Donald Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require Medicaid and food stamp recipients to work.  The Trump budget...
White House declines to provide detailed account of aide’s firing over abuse allegations

White House declines to provide detailed account of aide’s firing over abuse allegations

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders struggled Monday to explain the administration's shifting response to spousal abuse allegations against former senior aide Rob Porter, providing answers in the daily press briefing that were incomplete or that conflicted with the accounts of other aides or previous White House comments.  Sanders would not provide detailed answers on why a senior...
White House divided over aide’s departure amid claims of abuse

White House divided over aide’s departure amid claims of abuse

The furor over spousal abuse allegations that forced the resignation of one of President Donald Trump’s top advisers last week has exposed fissures within the White House that had been papered over since John Kelly took over last summer as chief of staff with a mandate to end the dysfunction.  Aides to the president said they remained confused and upset over the handling of the accusations...
City Council to vote on restoring special pay to Austin police

City Council to vote on restoring special pay to Austin police

The Austin City Council on Thursday will vote on measures to bring some special pay back to police officers that was lost when the contract between the Austin police union and the city fell apart at the end of last year. The meet-and-confer agreement outlined how officers were paid, promoted and disciplined. It also established oversight bodies like the now-suspended Citizen Review Panel, which allowed...
Trump takes ‘shackles’ off ICE, which is slapping them on immigrants who thought they were safe

Trump takes ‘shackles’ off ICE, which is slapping them on immigrants who thought they were safe

A week after he won the election, President Donald Trump promised that his administration would round up millions of immigrant gang members and drug dealers. And after he took office, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers surged 40 percent.  Officials at the agency commonly known as ICE praise Trump for putting teeth back into immigration enforcement, and they say their agency...
Rex Tillerson kicks off Middle East trip in Egypt

Rex Tillerson kicks off Middle East trip in Egypt

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Cairo on Sunday, beginning a swing through the Middle East as it grapples with political turmoil and military clashes that threaten to undermine his ability to ease the rising tensions.  Tillerson was already facing a series of confrontational talks at almost every stop on his five-country tour. The strains grew even more taut when Egypt launched an...
Reliable Source: President Trump and Melania Trump spotted at dinner together

Reliable Source: President Trump and Melania Trump spotted at dinner together

Hey, isn't that ... President Donald Trump and wife Melania spending a rare night out on the town?  On Saturday, POTUS and FLOTUS were spotted having a date night at BLT Prime by David Burke, the steakhouse inside Trump International Hotel, which is just a few blocks from the White House. The telltale sign that something was afoot? A huge Secret Service presence. Our source had to make it past...
In big reversal, new Trump budget will give up on longtime GOP goal of eliminating deficit

In big reversal, new Trump budget will give up on longtime GOP goal of eliminating deficit

President Donald Trump on Monday will offer a budget plan that falls far short of eliminating the government's deficit over 10 years, conceding that huge tax cuts and new spending increases make this goal unattainable, three people familiar with the proposal said.  Eliminating the budget deficit over 10 years has been a North Star for the Republican Party for several decades, and GOP lawmakers...
First-class travel distinguishes Pruitt’s EPA tenure

First-class travel distinguishes Pruitt’s EPA tenure

Just days after helping orchestrate the United States' exit from a global climate accord last June, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt embarked on a whirlwind tour aimed at championing President Trump's agenda at home and abroad.  On Monday, June 5, accompanied by his personal security detail, Pruitt settled into his $1,641.43 first-class seat for a short flight from the...
Trump ‘not actively looking’ for Kelly replacement, Conway says

Trump ‘not actively looking’ for Kelly replacement, Conway says

Senior White House aides insisted Sunday that President Donald Trump retains confidence in Chief of Staff John Kelly in the midst of staff turmoil and said the president is not looking to replace the retired four-star general hired six months ago with a mandate to corral chaos.  "I spoke with the president last night about this very issue, and he wanted me to re-emphasize to everyone, including...
How Mattis succeeds with Trump

How Mattis succeeds with Trump

Throughout his 40-year career as a Marine, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis built a reputation as an aggressive warrior, leading a blitz on Baghdad and pushing a reluctant Obama administration to hit back against Iran.  Over the past year, he has learned to play a different role: acting as a check on an impulsive president.  The big question is how long Mattis can continue to act as a force...
More Politics Stories