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Inside Texas Politics: Texas congressman continues to fight for comprehensive immigration reform

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar saids addressing issues in Central America and those here in the U.S. is essential.

DALLAS — Inside Texas Politics focuses this week on the Texas border with Mexico. Vice President Kamala Harris finally visited the border on Friday. Gov. Greg Abbott is going on Wednesday with former President Donald Trump. 

But how many photo ops have we seen in recent months? Will either side do something besides talk tough? U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar has been trying to get people’s attention about what’s happening at the border for a while. 

The Democrat, who represents part of the Rio Grande Valley, didn’t expect much from Vice President Kamala Harris’ long-awaited visit to the Texas-Mexico border. Cuellar said it was just one of the many “photo ops” we’ve seen at the border over the last few months. He even questioned where the vice president decided to visit.

Congressman fights for local authority to join Medicaid

Right now, it is up to states to decide whether to expand Medicaid. Doing so in Texas would insure a million more Texans. But Republican leaders in the Lone Star State have refused to do so for a decade now. 

Rep. Lloyd Doggett wants to skip over states and let cities make the decision. 

Doggett said the pandemic has shown that local leaders are making the real decisions affecting our lives. So it makes sense to him to allow those local leaders to apply directly to the federal government for Medicaid funding, effectively expanding Medicaid in their cities or counties.

Doggett, who is making his first Inside Texas Politics appearance, represents a gerrymandered district between Austin and San Antonio.

Founding chairman of new political party SAM explains why they formed

In this segment each week, we usually tell you about our latest Y'all-itics podcast that's out.

This week we're doing something new -- giving you a sneak peek at the next episode about a third-party in Texas called the Serve America Movement (SAM) Party.

We spoke with Bill King, who is the founding chairman. King is also the former Mayor of Kemah and a former candidate for Houston Mayor (he lost a close runoff election to current Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2016).  

He said the folks who started SAM about three or four years ago were in the middle of the political spectrum and frustrated by the fact that both parties kept “careening off the edges.”