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Republicans

When West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice stood next to President Trump during a campaign rally in Huntington, W.Va., on Thursday to announce that he was switching parties and becoming a Republican, it was a historic moment for the GOP.

From Texas Standard:

The Republican Party of Texas elected a new chairman over the weekend after Tom Mechler stepped down. It wasn't exactly what you'd call a quiet exit.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

The House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted measure that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the first step toward keeping one of President Trump's campaign pledges and a victory for GOP lawmakers who have long railed against Obamacare, as the ACA is commonly known. The vote was 217-213.

The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain — and where top lawmakers in both parties are already signaling that there is a long legislative process ahead.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Republicans finally got their health care bill.

After seven years of repeal-and-replace rhetoric against the Affordable Care Act, two presidential campaigns waged for and against it and a recent high-profile failure, House Republicans passed their bill.

The trouble is this bill is unlikely to ever become law — at least in its current iteration.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

There's a moment in the Broadway musical Hamilton where George Washington says to an exasperated Alexander Hamilton: "Winning is easy, young man. Governing's harder."

When it comes to health care, it seems that President Trump is learning that same lesson. Trump and Republicans in Congress are struggling with how to keep their double-edged campaign promise — to repeal Obamacare without leaving millions of people without health insurance.

From Texas Standard:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repealing the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is a day-one priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans have already taken the first step towards repealing it.

Can Texas Republicans Hold America's Reddest Large Urban County?

Jan 17, 2017
Brandon Formby / Texas Tribune

Even though he can openly carry a handgun in Texas with the right permit, Jonathan Grummer thinks that still doesn’t allow him enough freedom in a country where firearms rights are enshrined in the Constitution.  

On Jan. 20, 2016, exactly a year before a new president would be sworn into office, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia announced the court's 8-to-1 decision reinstating the death penalty for two Kansas brothers.

It was the last time the 79-year-old Scalia would announce an opinion. Three weeks later, on a hunting trip in Texas, the conservative icon died in his sleep.

Election Dealt Some Setbacks To Texas GOP's Modest Diversity

Nov 25, 2016
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for The Texas Tribune

On the eve of the Nov. 8 election, Gov. Greg Abbott found himself onstage at a San Antonio barbecue joint proudly pointing to three lawmakers he described as the “face of the current Republican Party.”

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the signature health care overhaul of President Obama.

Trump has offered a few ideas of where he'd like to see a health care overhaul go, such as a greater reliance on health savings accounts, but he hasn't provided a detailed proposal.

The History Of Black Party Affiliation

Nov 8, 2016
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Historically, a majority of African Americans in the U.S. have voted Democrat. On Think, Krys Boyd talked with Corey D. Fields of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford about African Americans who lean Republican.

With just days until the election, some Senate Republicans are suggesting that when it comes to the Supreme Court, eight is enough. Eight justices, that is.

For the first time, some Senate Republicans are saying that if Hillary Clinton is elected, the GOP should prevent anyone she nominates from being confirmed to fill the current court vacancy, or any future vacancy.

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Texas has been a Republican stronghold in presidential races for the last 40 years. But Donald Trump has led Hillary Clinton by only single digit margins in recent polls. A look at why and what’s possible in Texas for Democrats in and after the November election.

Platforms Reveal Common Ground Between Texas GOP, Democrats

Jun 21, 2016
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Though they disagree on nearly every major policy issue, from education funding to abortion to immigration, Texas Republicans and Democrats apparently have common ground on a few things, according to the platforms approved at recent state conventions.

Stella Chávez / Stella Chávez

Donald Trump came to Dallas Thursday night to rile up a crowd of thousands inside Gilley's on South Lamar, and after the rally, supporters and protesters began heading home but not without some contentious encounters.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Many Texas Republicans have a testy relationship with the federal government these days, a fact that was on full display this weekend at the GOP convention in Dallas.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Texas Republicans wrapped up their state convention in Dallas this weekend with a highly-anticipated speech from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Chris Connelly / KERA News

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made national headlines this week when he came to Fort Worth and said school superintendent Kent Scribner should resign. Scribner refused, and defended his decision to rework the district's rules for transgender students. Patrick, in Dallas for the state Republican convention, refuses to back down. On Thursday, he called Scribner "a dictator."

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The Texas Republican Convention gets into full swing Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas. The event is one of the largest political gatherings in the country. 

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Jeb Bush isn’t expected to win the Republican primary in South Carolina, but where the former Florida governor finishes might impact the major donor support he’s had in Texas.

Texas Tribune

After a marathon 17-hour debate, the Texas House gave tentative approval to its version of a new state budget this morning.

Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey tells KERA’s Sam Baker the $210-billion budget reflects a lot of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities.

YouTube

President Obama gave his State of the Union address tonight. The Republican response followed, featuring Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. We aired the address and the response here on KERANews.org, as well as on KERA 90.1 FM and KERA-TV (Channel 13).

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Republicans did well in Texas Tuesday night, sweeping all of the major statewide races. Here’s a roundup:

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

It’s the presidential race no one is talking about: Two Texas political stars, both testing the waters for a run in 2016 –without mentioning it, of course. Ted Cruz and Rick Perry took their not-so-stealth campaigns to the annual RedState gathering today -- in the heart of America's biggest red state.

In their new state platform, Texas Republicans suggest reparative therapy" for patrients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexuality." The platform also says "homosexuality is a chosen behavior," something most gays and lesbians reject. Gay Republicans say they had convinced many party delegates to back their efforts to remove offensive comments from the platform, but convention rules prevented the delegates from addessing the audience.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Texas Republicans have taken a tougher stand against undocumented immigrants already living in the state by dropping support for a guest-worker program from their party platform.  

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In meeting rooms and hallways at the Texas Republican Party Convention, delegates Friday hotly argued over whether a guest worker program should remain in their party platform. Gay Republicans fought to eliminate a plank that suggested reparative therapy be available for those who want to escape their gay "lifestyle."

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