U.S. Representative Mike McCaul Calls Out Texas Republicans Who Voted Against Harvey Aid: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: Mexico rescinds its offer to help Texas after it gets hit with two natural disasters, Dallas is having a hard time tearing down a Confederate monument, and a new list ranks Texas schools among the best colleges in the country.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I mean, we’re all we got.”
—Johnny Soto, a football player for Rockport-Fulton High School, to CBS. The team is continuing to practice, even though their school is closed indefinitely and many of their homes were destroyed or damaged by Harvey.
In a Monday appearance on MSNBC, U.S. Representative Mike McCaul had some harsh words aimed at four of his fellow Texan lawmakers in the House, calling their decision to vote against an aid package for Harvey victims last week “unconscionable.” The Austin Republican called out U.S. Representatives Joe Barton of Ennis, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Sam Johnson of Richardson, and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon for being among the ninety members of the House to vote “no” on the final version of a $15 billion aid package on Friday. The four lawmakers cited part of the package that included raising the debt ceiling as the reason for withholding their support. The measure passed and was signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, but the nay votes from his Texan colleagues apparently really rankled McCaul. “I don’t want to judge them,” McCaul said Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “I judge myself and my conscience, and when I have people dying and hurting in my home state, it was my duty and my moral obligation to help them, and I felt that that vote was a vote of conscience to help people in my state and also now in Florida. I think that’s what Americans do, and I think it’s unconscionable to vote against something like that.” McCaul also dismissed the criticism from some Republicans that the Harvey aid package was inappropriately tied to the debt ceiling issue. “I think having to raise the debt ceiling was the issue, and the fact is that Mick Mulvaney is the director of [the Office of Management and Budget], and he was a Freedom Caucus guy when he served with us, and he told us point blank that you could not appropriate disaster relief if you didn’t raise the debt ceiling, so we were stuck with that choice,” McCaul said. “What do you with that choice? Just stand on principle and vote ‘no’? And I question that principle. Or do you vote to help people back in your home state who are hurting really badly?”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Mexico is no longer offering a helping hand to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, because our neighbors to the south have their own disaster to worry about. Two disasters, actually: a powerful earthquake on September 7 left at least ninety people dead, followed by Hurricane Katia. “Faced with emergencies caused by the September 7 earthquake and Hurricane Katia, Mexico is no longer in any condition to provide aid to the state of Texas,” Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to the Dallas Morning News. Mexico extended the offer not long after Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast, offering to send civil servants, troops, boats, helicopters, medical teams, nurses, a vessel, and rescue dogs. Governor Greg Abbott accepted the offer, though the aid package finalized last week was ultimately limited to mobile field kitchens. But now, even that aid package seems unlikely. “Unfortunately on this occasion it will not be possible to provide the original assistance to Texas,” the statement from Mexico said. In a statement from Governor Abbott’s office, spokesman John Wittman said that they are “grateful” for Mexico’s offer to help and “fully understand” that they’ve got their own problems to prioritize.
Dallas just can’t seem to tear down a statue of Robert E. Lee. The city has had the Confederate monument in its cross hairs for some time now, and after a contentious city council vote last week to get the ball rolling on the removal was temporarily halted by a federal judge—thanks, in part, to some untimely work delays—the statue appeared to be on its way down yet again once the judge ruled that the city could continue with the removal. But that’s proven to be a more difficult task than anticipated, according to the Dallas Morning News. Apparently Dallas can’t hire a replacement crane crew after the crane they originally bought was damaged in a car accident Sunday night. City Manager T.C. Broadnax indicated to the Morning News that heavy construction in the area means that many crane crews are simply booked up with those less-controversial jobs. Broadnax also said some crane owners don’t want to get involved because of the controversy surrounding the removal of a Confederate monument. “I’ve heard only anecdotally that there are those kinds of threats making their rounds in the crane rental, owner, and rigging business—threats to people’s families, their companies,” Broadnax told the Morning News. It’s unclear when the statue will come down.
The U.S. News and World Report released its newest ranking of the best colleges and universities in the country, and a bunch of Texas schools made the list, according to the Texas Tribune. Rice University is ranked as the fourteenth-best school in the nation, and though the Owls were the only ones from Texas to make the top 50, the Lone Star State was repped by plenty of schools in the top 100. The University of Texas at Austin came in at fifty-sixth overall, followed by Southern Methodist University at 61. Texas A&M University jumped from number 74 in the nation last year to 69 this year. A&M leapfrogged Baylor University, which dropped from 79 last year to 75. Texas Christian University climbed four spots from last year to 78. Lower in the rankings were the the University of Texas at Dallas at 146, Texas Tech at 176, the University of Houston at 194, and Dallas Baptist University at 214.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
DACA recipients were detained for hours at the Falufrrias Border Patrol checkpoint McAllen Monitor
More details on a deadly mass shooting in Plano Dallas Morning News
A billionaire Vietnamese immigrant donated $5 million toward Houston’s recovery from Harvey Houston Chronicle
Ted Cruz’s Twitter account liked a porn video posted by an account named “@SexuallPosts” New York Daily News
The Waco Twin Peaks biker shootout court proceedings continue to be a legal nightmare Waco Tribune-Herald