Will Hurd

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

Cruz, O’Rourke Steal Spotlight, but House Races in Texas Are Heating Up Too
Democrats eye multiple pickup opportunities in Lone Star State

Democrats say energy around Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign could help their House candidates in Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Texas Senate race has been grabbing headlines lately, but Democrats hoping for good news in November from the Lone Star State might want to focus further down the ballot, where several contests could be critical to House control.

Both parties have ramped up their activities in a handful of competitive Texas districts, with the Republican and Democratic campaign committees launching television ads in key races last week.

Beto O’Rourke: Not Just Another Bassist From El Paso
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 36

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, puts on his tie as Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as they arrive at the Capitol just in time for votes on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. O'Rourke has turned heads with his competitive race against Sen. Ted Cruz, but his political ascent did not come out of nowhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke has gained rock star status as an insurgent liberal candidate running against the established Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, but, but, but, says Nathan L. Gonzales, Roll Call’s elections analyst and the publisher of Inside Elections, O’Rourke’s rise to national prominence did not happen overnight or come out of nowhere. 

Koch Network Endorses 8 GOP House Members in Competitive Races
Conservative megadonors have pivoted their political strategy, raised Trump’s ire

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., is one of the House members who Americans for Prosperity announced it would support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political arm of the Koch conservative brothers’ network announced the House candidates it would support as it shifts its political strategy.

Americans for Prosperity named eight members of Congress in competitive races as its “policy champions.”

Chamber Defends GOP House Members in New Round of Ads
Business trade group is launching ads in four more House races

Reps. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, left, and French Hill, R-Ark., were both highlighted in new TV ads from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hitting the airwaves in four additional House races to defend Republicans in competitive contests.

The television ads, shared first with Roll Call, are part of a slate of positive issue spots boosting GOP incumbents in races from Maine to California. 

Gowdy Balks at Democrats’ Motion for Dan Coats to Testify in Public
Oversight chairman doesn’t want another political spectacle like Comey, Strzok hearings

Committee wanted to subpoena Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spiked a motion Tuesday from Democrats to subpoena Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to testify publicly about Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.

Their reason?

Tech Fellowship Expands After Embarrassing Facebook Hearing
TechCongress hopes to place 10 fellows in 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April testimony exposed a lack of technical knowledge in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Among the complex problems that Facebook poses to Congress, at least one has an easy solution: Most lawmakers don’t understand technology. So they need to hire more people who do.

That’s according to Travis Moore, a former staffer whose nonprofit aims to increase tech savvy on the Hill. TechCongress, a fellowship program his organization started with two recipients in 2015, is expanding and accepting applications for a class of up to ten to be placed in congressional offices in January.

GOP Rep. Fitzpatrick Says Putin ‘Manipulated’ Trump
Former FBI agent says he was ‘sickened’ by exchange between Trump and Putin

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said he was “sickened” by the exchange between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit between the two heads of state in Helsinki, Finland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick had harsh words over the weekend for President Donald Trump’s comments and behavior at a joint news conference last Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a sign that the president’s performance at the Helsinki, Finland, summit could be an enduring political thorn in his side.

“The president was manipulated by Vladimir Putin,” Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican and former FBI counterintelligence agent, said Sunday on NPR. “Vladimir Putin is a master manipulator.”

GOP Rep. Hurd says Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin
Texas congressman served in the CIA before getting into politics

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said President Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Will Hurd wrote in a New York Times op-ed that that President Donald Trump is participating in a disinformation campaign by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Texas Republican served as an undercover CIA officer before winning his first House race in 2014.

Hurd, Democratic Challenger on Pace to Shatter Fundraising Record
GOP rep, opponent Gina Ortiz Jones projected to run one of the most expensive races in Texas history

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Gina Ortiz Jones, his Democratic opponent this fall, project to raise a record total in campaign cash. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four months away from Election Day, the race for Texas’ 23rd District projects to be the most expensive congressional race in the state’s history.

Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones more than doubled her cash on hand in the second fundraising quarter after reeling in $1.2 million in April, May and June, her campaign announced in a news release Monday.