The Brief: Abbott pushes for Harvey aid in Washington — and one congressman pushes back
Gov. Greg Abbott wants Congress to fork over another $61 billion for infrastructure purposes after Hurricane Harvey's destruction — and he was in D.C. on Tuesday to make his case to congressional leaders.
Thanks for reading The Brief, our daily newsletter informing you on politics, public policy and everything in between. Forward this email to friends who may want to join us. They can sign up here. — CP
What you need to know
Gov. Greg Abbott is nudging Congress to funnel an additional $61 billion to Texas for infrastructure rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey. Here's what you need to know:
• Abbott met with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, handing lawmakers a 301-page report from the Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas that included project proposals ranging from repairing streets to major flood control projects. Haggling over funding began earlier this month, when a request by most of Texas' congressional delegation for $18.7 billion in aid went largely ignored. While Congress has already given the OK on more than $51 billion in disaster relief, it's unclear how much of the pie will land in Texas, since the funds will be divvied up between several parts of the country impacted by natural disasters.
• There was a little drama yesterday. After the aid request was disregarded, Abbott told the Houston Chronicle on Oct. 11 that the Texas delegation needed to get "a stiff spine" and worried that Texans could get "rolled" if their representatives didn't come through — and 20 days later, those comments still aren't sitting well with many members. In a meeting with most of the Texas congressional delegation at the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, reportedly told Abbott his comments to the paper "were not helpful," per several sources in the room.
• Back home in Texas, the Legislature's still talking about Harvey aftermath. A handful of House and Senate committees are holding hearings today to discuss interim charges and the state's response to the storm. Follow Texas Tribune reporters Matthew Choi and Giulia Afiune for updates.
Other stories we're watching today:
• Join us on Facebook today at noon for our live recording of The Texas Tribune's TribCast. We're talking about the race to replace Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and why we should slow our roll a little bit — plus more. Have a question for the Tribune's Editor-in-Chief Emily Ramshaw? Reply to this email with your question or tweet it with #TribCast.
• Ross Ramsey says if retiring House Speaker Joe Straus decides to run for statewide office someday, he's got to get on Texans' radar first.
• Texas Tech University fired Mike Leach as football coach eight years ago. He's still fighting the school for money he thinks belongs to him.
• U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a powerful Republican from Dallas, says he's not running for re-election in 2018.
• The American Civil Liberties Union followed through with its threat to sue the Trump administration to release an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appointed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's chief toxicologist to its Science Advisory Board.
Pencil us in
Join us in Lubbock for a conversation with GOP state lawmakers Sen. Charles Perry and Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo on Nov. 3.
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith is interviewing state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, at The Austin Club on Nov. 7.
What we're reading
• At least eight are dead after a man in a truck ran over several pedestrians near the World Trade Center in New York. (Associated Press)
• House Republicans in Congress are delaying the rollout of their tax reform proposal. It's now set to happen Thursday. (Politico)
• State Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview, is hoping he doesn't have to pay a legal company nearly $3 million in a malpractice case. (The Monitor)
• The FBI raided a Dallas financial office amid allegations that some retirement accounts the company manages were missing funds. (The Dallas Morning News $)
• Houston is thinking about allowing hundreds of homes to be built in a floodplain. (The Houston Chronicle $)
Photo of the day
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks to supporters during an event in San Antonio on Monday for his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. Photo by Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune. See more photos on our Instagram account.
Quote to note
"We have a law that allows the government to totally screw you around and get away with it."
— Wayne Dolcefino, a former Houston investigative television reporter, on a Texas law that shields the state and its entities from lawsuits — even if an entity breaches a contract.
Feedback? Questions? Email us at email@example.com. As always, thanks for choosing The Brief — if you liked what you read today, become a member or make a donation here.
Information about the authors
Quality journalism doesn't come free
Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn't cheap. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue across the country are declining, The Texas Tribune remains committed to sustaining our mission: creating a more engaged and informed Texas with every story we cover, every event we convene and every newsletter we send. As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on members to help keep our stories free and our events open to the public. Do you value our journalism? Show us with your support.Yes, I'll donate today