MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS . ..

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS . ..

Flushed Down
The Texas Senate seems primed to kill the bathroom bill passed by the Texas House on Sunday, so we’re still going to be talking about bathrooms for a while. According to the Texas Tribune, Senator Larry Taylor, a Republican from Friendswood, promised to reject the changes made in the House to his Senate Bill 2078, requesting the formation of a special committee to work out a compromise. Apparently Taylor thought the amendment to SB 2078 that targeted bathroom access for transgender students in public schools didn’t go far enough. “I heard it reported as a compromise, but it really doesn’t do anything,” Taylor said, according to the Tribune. But the amendment’s author, Republican state Representative Chris Paddie of Marshall, is sticking his guns and doesn’t seem particularly inclined to move forward on forming a special committee. “I don’t speak for the entire House, but I’d like to hear the reasons why before I say it’s something I think is necessary,” Paddie said, according to the Tribune. “I believe it accommodates all children and I believe that the House has taken a very thoughtful, reasonable approach to trying to address concerns that have been raised leading up to this session… I believe we did it in the right way.”

Wall Ball
President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal sets aside $1.6 billion toward his promised border wall, but according to the Dallas Morning News that would only go so far—about 74 miles, to be specific. Trump’s 2018 budget would pay for just 60 miles of new barrier along the Texas-Mexico border, plus 14 miles of replaced fences near San Diego. Based on this budget, the math puts Trump about $48.5 billion short of what would be needed for the “big, beautiful wall” Trump has promised would stretch along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border. Still, the Trump administration seems optimistic. “We are absolutely dead serious about the wall,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Tuesday after the proposed budget was released, according to the Morning News. But this specific spending plan for the wall may be a non-issue, given the fierce opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to Trump’s budget. Texas Senator John Cornyn called the budget “dead on arrival,” according to NBC, adding that most presidential budgets fail in Congress anyway.

Brisket Battle
Outspoken Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller took to the online pages of the Texas Tribune on Wednesday to write an op-ed addressing a matter of utmost importance to his Texan constituents: barbecue. Miller led off his piece with a Bible verse (Proverbs 20:10), because barbecue is the official religion of Texas, obviously. He went on to challenge Governor Greg Abbott to veto a bill that would exempt barbecue joints from state inspections of the weights and scales they use to measure meat. According to Miller, the current inspection law “prevents any dishonest business owner from putting their thumb on the scale and ripping us off,” but that the Lege has instead “decided that everyone that runs a barbecue joint is as honest as the day is long.” Miller says that’s a mistake. “Horse hockey,” Miller writes. “As Ronald Reagan said, ‘Trust but verify.’ I trust my local barbecue guy, but I still want to see that when I buy a pound of sausage I’m getting a pound of sausage.” Miller clearly doesn’t mess around with his meat.