Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

District of Columbia, Texas | August 4, 2021

House Foreign Affairs Committee Reveals Latest on COVID-19 Origin Probe

District of Columbia, Texas | August 4, 2021

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released a report on the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins Monday, alleging that China concealed COVID-19’s leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in 2019. McCaul, the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s ranking member, says China is guilty of the “greatest coverup of all time”. Many health experts and scientists in the U.S. continue to stress that the theory that a Chinese laboratory leak set off the pandemic remains unlikely, though warrants further investigation. The House report states that “the preponderance of the evidence proves the virus did leak from the WIV and that it did so sometime before September 12, 2019.” It highlights “the sudden removal of the WIV’s virus and sample database” on that date, as well as “unusually scheduled maintenance at the WIV,” as evidence of the lab leak theory. The theory was dismissed as a conspiracy in early 2020 by many public health officials, Democratic leaders and mainstream media sources… (Excerpts from Allsides.com)

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Texas | August 3, 2021

Children stopped at border likely hit record-high in July

Texas | August 3, 2021

The number of children traveling alone who were picked up at the Mexican border by U.S. immigration authorities likely hit an all-time high in July, and the number of people who came in families likely reached its second-highest total on record, a U.S. official said Monday, citing preliminary government figures.

The sharp increases from June were striking because crossings usually slow during stifling — and sometimes fatal — summer heat.

U.S. authorities likely picked up more than 19,000 unaccompanied children in July, exceeding the previous high of 18,877 in March, according to David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security. The June total was 15,253.

The number of people encountered in families during July is expected at about 80,000, Shahoulian said. That’s shy of the all-time high of 88,857 in May 2019 but up from 55,805 in June.

Overall, U.S. authorities stopped migrants about 210,000 times at the border in July, up from 188,829 in June and the highest in more than 20 years. But the numbers aren’t directly comparable because many cross repeatedly under a pandemic-related ban that expels people from the country immediately without giving them a chance to seek asylum but carries no legal consequences.

The activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors in south Texas, accounting for more than seven of 10 people who came in families.

In the Rio Grande Valley sector, the “epicenter of the current surge,” agents stopped migrants about 78,000 times in July, Shahoulian said, up from 59,380 in June and 51,149 in May…. (Excerpts from the Associated Press)

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Texas | August 2, 2021

Texas Hospitals Lack Compliance with Federal Price Transparency Rule According to Survey

Texas | August 2, 2021

Half a year after losing an appeals court battle, many hospitals across the country are still not fully compliant with the federal government’s price transparency rule — including 23 of Texas’ largest hospitals.

 

An analysis by PatientsRightsAdvocate.org surveyed 500 hospitals across the nation from May to July estimates that 5.6 percent of the nation’s hospitals are fully compliant. The group took a random sample of America’s over 6,000 hospitals.

Issued during the Trump administration, the price transparency rule is a regulatory measure requiring hospitals to make available to customers their actual prices rather than mere ranges or estimates. It also requires hospitals to post those prices on a shoppable page on their website.

The regulatory price transparency rule took effect on January 1 after the American Hospital Association (AHA) lost its challenge in front of the D.C. circuit court in December…. (Excerpts from The Texan)

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District of Columbia, Texas | July 30, 2021

Texas House Rep. Arrested During Voting Protest in Washington

District of Columbia, Texas | July 30, 2021

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) confirmed Thursday that she was arrested as she engaged in a voting protest in Washington.

Lee and other protesters were standing in front of an entrance to the Senate Hart Building when the Capitol Police told them that it was their final warning and would have to disperse, according to footage posted by the Democrat’s office.

“Yes, I engaged in civil disobedience today in front of the Hart Building in Washington, D.C., and was arrested,” Jackson Lee said. “I believe when you are getting into good trouble—when you realize that the 15th Amendment has guaranteed the fundamental right to vote. Any action that is a peaceful action of civil disobedience is worthy and more to push all of us to do better and to do more.”

The protesters, according to Lee, were demanding the passage of two Democrat-backed election overhaul bills… (Excerpt from the Epoch Times)

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Texas | July 30, 2021

Texas Democrats to meet with Clintons, Stacey Abrams

Texas | July 30, 2021

Quorum-breaking legislators said they would seek strategic advice from the party leaders and urge the Clintons to lobby on their behalf.

The Texas House Democrats who are breaking quorum to block their Republican colleagues from advancing voting restrictions will meet with Bill and Hillary Clinton and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams on Thursday, state legislators said.

Members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus will meet with Abrams at 10 a.m. and the Clintons at 11 a.m. Both meetings will take place virtually, over Zoom.

More than 50 members of the Texas House are in Washington this month, waiting out the clock on a special legislative session to block Republicans from enacting sweeping changes to elections in the state. Through meetings with members of Congress and a steady stream of media events, the legislators have used their time in the capital to plead for federal voting legislation… (Excerpts from NBC News)

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District of Columbia, Texas | July 30, 2021

Garland Sends Letter To Governor Abbott, Threatens Legal Action Over Migrant Executive Order

District of Columbia, Texas | July 30, 2021

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote a letter to Republican Governor of Texas Greg Abbott on Thursday in response to Abbott’s recent executive order.

Abbott signed an executive order this week restricting the flow of migrants into Texas due to COVID-19.

According to the governor’s website, Abbott signed the executive order “restricting ground transportation of migrants who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19 into Texas communities.” It also “directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of such violation and reroute such vehicles back to its point of origin or a port of entry. DPS also has the authority to impound a vehicle that violates the Executive Order.”

In response, Attorney General Garland wrote his own letter to Abbott, saying that the order cannot be enforced, and pressed the governor to immediately take it back.

Garland wrote that the order “would jeopardize the health and safety of noncitizens in federal govern­ment custody, federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and our communities.”.. (Excerpts from the Daily Wire)

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