The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
The Texas Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 4 which cracks down on so-called “sanctuary cities.” It requires local jurisdictions to honor federal requests for extended detention of immigrants.
The bill also includes a measure that would criminalize non-compliance with its provisions, paving the way for elected officials to be removed from office.
Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) was one of several Democrats who spoke out against the bill before yesterday’s final vote.
“This isn’t about public safety,” he said. “If it were, we’d listen to the professional public safety leaders who tell us this won’t make Texas safer.”
The bill’s author, Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) had a different take in his closing arguments.
“We cannot have individual jurisdictions picking and choosing how our laws are applied or we end up with independent kings throughout this state,” Perry said.
The measure now heads to the Texas House.
Wednesday, Cruz appeared on Fox News where he talked about the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Cruz was asked if shutting down Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was similar to a moment a few years ago when he ignited controversy by attacking Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) on the Senate floor.
Cruz responded by saying Warren’s attack on then-Senator Sessions was slanderous and ugly. He then said when the left has nowhere to go, they call Republicans racist.
“The Democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan,” Cruz said. “You look at the most racist, you look at the Dixiecrats, they were Democrats who imposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan. The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats. And yet now, the Democrats just accuse anyone they disagree with of being a racist.”
Cruz went on to say Sessions would make a great attorney general.
Warren was reading a letter Coretta Scott King had written criticizing Sessions when Warren was shut down by Senate procedures Tuesday night.
This week the federal government approved the construction of a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota.
Meanwhile in west Texas, two new natural gas pipelines from the same company are getting ready to come online.
Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik reports that the Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners is behind two underground pipelines that’ll carry natural gas from the Permian Basin region across the border into Mexico.
The company says its “Comanche Trail” line to the El Paso area is now completed – some gas has already started going into that line as it gets ready to turn on, Bubenik says.
“The ‘Trans-Pecos’ line – a sister project through the mostly industry-free Big Bend area – is more than 96 percent complete,” Bubenik says. “The projects will move a combined 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day across the border.”
“Both were commissioned by Mexico – and both have drawn opposition from some locals who have recently looked to the North Dakota pipeline fight for inspiration,” Bubenik says.