Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Speaker Dade Phelan said the Texas House will start working on the budget next week, which will impact when they consider other bills including House Bill 6.

Legislation in Austin that would change voting laws in the state is a flashpoint in Texas politics.

The Senate passed its version. Now, it’s up to the Texas House to decide what happens next. 

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, talks about where things stand.

Phelan said on Inside Texas Politics that budget negotiations next week will keep House Bill 6 from moving forward immediately.

RELATED: Texas activist groups slam SB 7 and HB 6 as ‘voter suppression’ bills

Phelan said HB 6 is about having a uniform election across the state after an election during which Harris County did things differently than the rest of the state.

Phelan argued that those types of changes to election law need to go through the state legislative process. 

“That’s how you change law. You don’t change law at the local level,” said Phelan.

RELATED: Simple fix to prevent future electric outages has yet to be mandated by the Texas legislature


President Biden’s push for infrastructure improvements

Texas has more than 800 bridges and more than 19,000 miles of highway in poor condition. 

Former President Donald Trump talked about improving infrastructure when he was in office. Now President Joe Biden is moving ahead with those plans. 

One of those helping sell it for the administration is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who joined Inside Texas Politics from Washington, D.C.

Biden has called for major action on the infrastructure bill by Memorial Day. 

Buttigieg said it’s a big lift, but not only is it possible, it’s necessary. 

“We can’t sit around. We can’t wait,” said Buttigieg. “We’re in a race with the crumbling of our own infrastructure.” 

RELATED: ‘We see a lot of need in Texas,’ Secretary Buttigieg explains pitching Biden’s infrastructure plan

Congressman expects shelters for unaccompanied minors to stick around

Infrastructure and immigration will be at the forefront for Congress this week. 

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Denton County, has made multiple trips to the Texas-Mexico border over the years. 

When asked to estimate how long the shelters would be open for unaccompanied minors across Texas, Burgess said if the past is a guide, they could be open for some time.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It has never been this bad,” Burgess said of the current influx of minors across the border.

The children are supposed to be held for just 72 hours, but there is a backlog of minors waiting for placement, Burgess explained.

RELATED: Texas congressman: Overflow shelters for unaccompanied children could remain open indefinitely