Texas Fights with Trump Over Harvey Aid: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: A Border Patrol agent is killed near Big Bend, Jose Altuve wins MVP, and Jerry Jones apologizes for a racist comment.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“F*CK TROY NEHLS AND F*CK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM.”
—A new bumper sticker on Karen Fonseca’s truck, according to KHOU. Fonseca made national headlines last week when Troy Nehls, Fort Bend County Sheriff, threatened disorderly conduct charges for her bumper sticker with an identical message for President Donald Trump and his supporters. Nehls probably won’t like this bumper sticker, either.
Texas officials engaged in a testy back-and-forth with the Trump administration after the White House unveiled its latest disaster aid package request on Friday. The request calls for Congress to approve $44 billion in aid for recovery from Hurricane Harvey, as well as from the recent hurricanes in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Governor Greg Abbott—who had asked Congress for a $61 billion package last month for recovery in Texas alone—was disappointed, to say the least. “What was offered up by Mick Mulvaney and [his Office of Management and Budget] is completely inadequate for the needs of the state of Texas and I believe does not live up to what the president wants to achieve,” Abbott said at a news conference at the Texas Capitol on Friday, where he also announced a $5 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the Texas Tribune. “The president has told me privately what he’s said publicly, and that is that he wants to be the builder president. The president has said that he wants this to be the best recovery from a disaster ever.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clapped back, defending the White House’s aid request and blaming Texas for not spending enough of its own money on Harvey recovery. “Up until this point, Texas has not put any state dollars into this process,” Sanders told reporters. “We feel strongly that they should step up and play a role and work with the federal government in this process. We did a thorough assessment and that was completed and this was the number that we put forward to Congress today.” According to the Tribune, Texas has already spent or incurred more than $1 billion in expenses around the storm, and Abbott has said he’d be open to tapping into the state’s $10 billion Rainy Day Fund in the future to pay for Harvey-related costs at the state level. Senator John Cornyn wasn’t happy with the White House’s proposed aid package, either. “I’m not satisfied,” he said at the same conference as Abbott. “We have to have further conversation.” Seven U.S. representatives from the Houston area also expressed their displeasure with the funding request. “We stand together opposed to this level of funding and will continue to fight to help Texas rebuild,” read a statement from U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul, Ted Poe, Pete Olson, Blake Farenthold, Randy Weber, Brian Babin, and Kevin Brady, who also called the proposed package “woefully inadequate.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed on duty near Big Bend on Sunday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. While agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were patrolling near the Van Horn Station about 120 miles east of El Paso on Sunday morning, they responded to unspecified activity and were injured. Both agents were taken to a hospital, and Martinez, a 36-year-old who lived in El Paso, died from his injuries. The other agent is still hospitalized and in serious condition. The FBI is investigating the incident and has confirmed that there was no shooting, though few other details have emerged. The agency told the Express-News that a full account of the incident will be released on Monday. “Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was killed this morning in the line of duty,” Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement. “We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked.” President Donald Trump, meanwhile, used the incident to renew his call for a border wall on Twitter. “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was in hot water this weekend after a video surfaced showing him making racist comments at a 2013 wedding. At the Warwick Melrose Hotel in Dallas, a man asked Jones to give a congratulatory speech to his new fiancée as he was walking out of the bar. “Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding,” Jones said to the camera. “Now, you know he’s with a black girl tonight, don’t you?” Jones then laughed. Now that the video has been released to the public, Jones has apologized. “That comment was inappropriate,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s not who I am, and I’m sorry.” The video comes as the NFL and team owners, in particular, grapple with a league-wide protest movement among many African-American players, who have kneeled during pre-game national anthems in protest of racial injustice and police brutality. Jones has threatened to bench Cowboys players who kneel during the anthem.
WHAT WE’RE READING
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The Veterans Affairs hospital campus in Temple is rife with corruption and intimidation of veterans, according to investigators Austin American-Statesman
Joint Base San Antonio reported hundreds more sexual assaults in the past several years than any other joint military base San Antonio Express-News
UTEP football is 0-11 so far this season El Paso Times
The senior curator at the Dallas Museum of Art resigned amid allegations of “inappropriate behavior” Dallas Morning News
Fewer Mexican shoppers has led to a declining sales tax revenue for the city of McAllen McAllen Monitor