AUSTIN, Texas - The week in Texas Politics involved several big issues. The issues ranged from border bus rides to Washington D.C. for undocumented immigrants, to a critical vote on the latest nominee for the Supreme Court.
KOSKI: Political consultant Mark Wiggins, your headline for the week?
KOSKI: Greg Groogan, FOX 26 news out of Houston. Greg, thanks for joining us. This is your first time and what is your headline for the week?
KOSKI: Let's start off with that. The Biden versus Abbott and now board a bus to DC topic that kicked off the week with the governor.
DIAL: It doesn't surprise me, but it's politics. It's an election year. And if you read the fine print and the fine journalists across the state of Texas told everyone after the governor's speech that, you know what, it didn't really pack a punch because it's voluntary.
WIGGINS: You know, this is one of those ideas that a junior staffer throws out and everybody laughs and says, I would be funny, but it never goes anywhere because of the obvious legal and logistical challenges.
GROOGAN: Big time. I think it's brilliant. Look, we're talking about 7,000 people being apprehended every day. That amounts to like what, you know, 14 new elementary schools. At least he's doing something.
KOSKI: If there's not a special session, all the focus is turning toward the regular session that's coming. And Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick just put out his to-do list, which was a big to-do list, one that went from cracking down on catalytic converter crime to the don't teach about gay sex in kindergarten and early grades. Anything in that list other than those. Catch your attention there, Marc.
WIGGINS: You know, what I found interesting was what the lieutenant governor did with the committee assignments and that he consolidated the Higher Education Committee made it a subcommittee of the Education Committee. And you know, there's policy implications there. It effectively reduces the stature of both of those committees. We know Patrick is upset with universities after they challenged him. That's why he's made the tenure a big target of his interim charges and his legislative priorities heading into the next session. But the other thing is, you know, by reducing the number of committees that is going to allow the lieutenant governor to more tightly control the chairmanships and that consolidates his own power.
DIAL: It seems like all the talk is about these big hot-button issues when there are issues that you guys agree on. And I think they wait until the last minute to try to pass it and then, oh, it didn't work, or oh, the actual solution isn't met. And so I think it's really going to be looking at to see how both sides are going to come together on these issues that everyone agrees on and not just wasting time on issues that, I mean, you mentioned the don't say gay bill. It could pass the Senate all day. But if Dade Phelan is still Speaker of the House, that's going to happen, as we saw in the last session. So I want to see what bipartisan things are really going to come together and pass the next session.
GROOGAN: I mean, this sounds like a full-time job. Did y’all see that list. Number 3 here; people in Houston, Harris County, were cheering the Harris County centric issues that Patrick put on the list, particularly the catalytic converter theft issue. I mean, we lost a deputy walking out of a discount store. Three guys are stealing his catalytic converter. They opened up on him. He opens up on and there's dead guys.
KOSKI: Texas Senators Cruz and Cornyn were no votes in regards to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brown-Jackson. Stephen, no surprise to you?
DIAL: I wasn't surprised by Cornyn and Cruz. It was an interesting view seeing Mitt Romney standing there, clapping as a Republican and Cruz and other Republicans hustling out of the chamber. That was a bit surprising to me, but their votes did not surprise me at all.
KOSKI: A rising star for the Democrats is the Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo, but some think that her star started to tarnish with a scandal in regards to contracts that were given to friends. And then we've got two Republicans that are challenging her. Greg, you just did a debate between those two Republicans. What's the tone in this race?
GROOGAN: We believe indictments of inner circle Hidalgo folks are imminent in the next few weeks. Yeah. You know, they're spending money hand over fist on damage control. Lina Hidalgo is in trouble. They've got some big time explaining to do.
KOSKI: Let's close out this week in Texas politics with our final word for the week. And Steven, we'll start with you. Your word for the week. Steve?
KOSKI: Mark Wiggins, your word for the week,
KOSKI: And Greg Groogan, your word for the week?
KOSKI: And with that, we're wrapping up another week in Texas politics.
Abbott: Texas will charter buses of undocumented immigrants to DC
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