News Roundup: US Senate Passes Emergency Funding Bill For Migrants, Competing With The House’s

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Kristen CabreraJune 27, 2019 1:34 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that includes $4.6 billion in emergency funding to address the surge of migrants at the southern border. The bill is different from a House version – one that Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has said is inadequate.

“[It] doesn’t provide enough in the way of detention facilities, nor does it provide resources for enforcing the law, particularly for ICE,” Cornyn told Texas Public Radio.

The two houses will now need to reconcile their bills – a process many expect to be contentious.

Presidential candidate Julián Castro is drawing a lot of attention for his performance on the debate stage Wednesday night. Google Trends reported a 2,400% spike in searches for his name during the debate.

Castro appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday. He says the debate was an opportunity for him to tap into a larger audience.

“And last night what people saw is that I have a strong vision for the country, that I had the right experience to be president, and they want to know ‘look, can you stand up to Donald Trump?’ and I showed that I can more than handle myself, so I think people are looking at me a new way today,” Castro said.

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke also appeared on “Morning Joe.” He says his campaign strategy will remain focused on sharing his vision for the country.

“I’m not running against anybody, I’m running for the United States of America, so I wanted to outline our vision, the means that would allow us to achieve it,” Castro said.

O’Rourke, Castro and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker all took moments in last night’s debate to answer questions in Spanish.

For many voters the debate was a first look at about half of the major candidates vying for the 2020 nomination. Austinite Matt Smith watched at a viewing party near UT-Austin’s campus. Smith says he is currently supporting Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but he said some other candidates stood out.

“I thought that Cory Booker had a good night,” Smith said. “I thought Julián Castro had a good night. I thought Elizabeth Warren had a good night and Beto didn’t live up to my expectations and the rest kind of faded into the background for me.” 

Castro and O’Rourke clashed during the debate over a law that makes it a misdemeanor for immigrants to enter the U.S. without documentation. Castro wants to repeal the law. O’Rourke supports keeping it.

A Houston organization broke ground Wednesday on what officials say will be the largest academic psychiatric hospital in the country. 

Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin reports. 

The UT Health Continuum of Care campus, which will be built with state funds, will add a 240-bed hospital to the existing psychiatric center. The new campus will have a total of 514 beds, making it the nation’s largest academic psychiatric hospital, according to UT Health. 

Right now, Texas ranks 50th in the country for access to mental health care, according to the nonprofit Mental Health America. UT Health officials say the facility will redesign mental health care by changing the way doctors are trained.