Politics & Government

February 8, 2014

Fort Worth congresswoman gaining international attention

Texas’ Republican lieutenant governor asks for President Barack Obama’s help.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger is getting to be well known throughout the world.

Granger, R-Fort Worth, recently was in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum and made some new acquaintances.

She had dinner one night with Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and Bono, frontman for the rock band U2. Both men are active in philanthropy and promote ways to reduce world hunger. Bono has worked with Granger on securing U.S. aid for Africa.

Granger, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee’s State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, was part of a congressional delegation led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that also included U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas.

No thanks

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst sent a letter to President Barack Obama last week.

He said federal moves have made it impossible to put in place a law passed last year to require some Texans seeking unemployment benefits to first undergo drug tests.

“We had hoped to have this important new law implemented by February 1st, but the Labor Department’s inexplicable delays have ground implementation to a halt,” Dewhurst wrote. “In the process, it is not only affecting the quality of the Texas workforce, but also potentially slowing recovery for those whose addiction would encounter a healthy dose of accountability through the program.”

Kinder, gentler Cruz?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a polarizing figure from the moment he arrived in the U.S. Senate a year ago, is now taking a cue from former President George H.W. Bush and being “kinder and gentler.”

Politico’s Manu Raju is reporting that after a year of defying Senate sensibilities, Cruz has changed his approach.

“At a GOP lunch last week, Sen. John McCain noted that ‘some crazy guy from Texas’ stormed out during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. ‘Hey,’ Cruz chimed in, ‘I didn’t walk out of the State of the Union.’ The packed room erupted in laughter,” writes Raju.

The “crazy guy from Texas” was U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas for the Senate.

Cruz is blamed by many in the GOP for his leading role in forcing the government shutdown over Obamacare and for working against incumbents in fundraising.

According to Politico, Cruz has now pledged not to raise money for a conservative group trying to oust incumbent GOP senators and is being deferential to senators in a way he was not before.

Cruz “is starting to develop an inside game in the clubby Senate, where relationships are important,” said Politico.

The Cornyn-Cruz relationship, always a little frosty, may be thawing, too.

Snow alert

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price didn’t let the snowfall, deep freeze and general white-out conditions dampen her trip to Washington, D.C., last month for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting.

Although she didn’t have hardy winter gear, her camel coat and black booties did the job. The group’s next meeting should be a lot more comfortable: It’s in Dallas June 20-23.


U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, recently received the 2013 Leadership Award from the Century Council, a nonprofit group that honors legislators each year for working to fight drunk driving and underage drinking.

Last year, Veasey hosted an “Ask, Listen, Learn” underage drinking-prevention event for middle school students in Grand Prairie.

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