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Government-wide Spending Bill Headed for a House Vote

May 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government-wide spending bill that President Donald Trump seemed to criticize Tuesday morning but now calls “a clear win for the American people” is headed for a House vote.

The House is scheduled to vote on the bipartisan $1.1 trillion measure Wednesday afternoon. It is a product of weeks of Capitol Hill negotiations in which top Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi successfully blocked Trump’s most controversial proposals, including a down payment on the oft-promised Trump Mexico border wall, cuts to popular domestic programs, and new punishments for so-called sanctuary cities.…

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Texas House Approves 3 Bills Loosening Gun Regulations

May 3, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers moved Tuesday to make it even easier to carry firearms with a trio of bills approved by the state House — including one that could cost the state millions amid a sizeable budget crunch.

The chamber voted 111-30 to decrease gun licenses to $40, down from $140 for first-time permits and $70 for 5-year renewals.…

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Federal court sets July trial date in Texas redistricting case

May 2, 2017

With the 2018 election cycle looming, a federal judge panel has set July 10 as the start date for a trial over the state’s House and congressional political maps.

In an order filed Monday, the three judges presiding over the case scheduled the five-day trial following a pair of rulings that found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in initially drawing each map in 2011.…

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Texas Senate extends easing testing for some high schoolers

May 2, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has voted to extend a 2015 law designed to help high school seniors graduate on time despite failing standardized tests needed to earn a diploma.

Amarillo Republican Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill passed 28-3 on Monday and now heads to the Texas House.

It continues until September 2019 a program offering an alternative graduation plan for seniors who failed to pass up to two statewide exams in algebra I, biology, English I and II and U.S.…

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Texas Capital Highlights — May 1, 2017

May 2, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Protesters decrying proposed Texas legislation compelling local police to enforce federal immigration law continue to stage a sit-in at a state building.

More than 100 people marched Monday to the state Capitol, then to the Texas Department of Insurance building, many wearing T-shirts denouncing the proposal against “sanctuary cities.”

They sat in the lobby and vowed to remain until Republican Gov.…

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Lawmakers settle on $1T plan to avoid US gov’t shutdown

May 1, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers on Monday unveiled a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September but would deny President Donald Trump money for a border wall and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs.

The 1,665-page bill agreed to on Sunday is the product of weeks of negotiations.…

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Take that, Washington! Texas looks to nullify federal laws

April 28, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Republicans who control Congress and the White House have promised to slash the size of the federal government while easing regulations on guns, the environment and energy production. But in the nation’s largest conservative state of Texas, it may not be enough.

A proposal in the GOP-led Legislature would allow Texas to ignore federal law and court rulings and forgo enforcing national regulations.…

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Trump tax cut: Huge, vague and likely mild boost for economy

April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s team boasted Wednesday that its tax-cut plan would lighten Americans’ financial burdens, ignite economic growth and vastly simplify tax filing.

Yet the proposal so far remains short of vital details, including how it would be paid for. And based on the few specifics spelled out so far, most experts suggest that it would add little to growth while swelling the budget deficit and potentially handing large windfalls to wealthier taxpayers.…

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White House backs off as lawmakers work to avert shutdown

April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are nearing agreement on sweeping spending legislation to keep the lights on in government, after the White House backed off a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans pay their medical bills.

It was the latest concession by the White House, which had earlier dropped a demand for money for President Donald Trump’s border wall.…

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Trump says US won’t leave NAFTA _ for now

April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he has told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement at this time, but could still withdraw if he concludes a renegotiated pact is not “a fair deal for all.”

Trump tweeted early Thursday that he has agreed to remain a partner in the much-discussed trade agreement in calls he received from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.…

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