Texas Tribune talks House Speaker's blunt comments on bathroom bill

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The Texas special legislative session is just two weeks away. Texas lawmakers will meet to discuss 19 issues that Governor Greg Abbott wants addressed, including the controversial bathroom bill.

That bill was voted down in the tense regular session but according to Alana Rocha from the Texas Tribune, the upcoming special session is expected to be even more dramatic.

In a new article that recently appeared in The New Yorker magazine, staff writer Lawrence Wright, who lives in Austin, wrote about Texas politics. In the article, titled "America's Future is Texas," he quoted Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus, saying in regards to the bathroom bill that he didn't want the blood of a single Texan on his hands.

“Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that in that same article in The New Yorker, Straus said that lawmakers aren’t obligated to pass any of the 19 as part of the special session," said Alana Rocha of The Texas Tribune. "And Abbott hasn’t indicated that any of those 19 are worth calling the lawmakers back for another special session if they don’t pass.”

Meanwhile, it's been two years since criminal charges were brought against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and new financial reports show he's spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending himself. Shortly after taking office in 2015, Paxton was charged with security fraud for misleading investors of a tech startup where he worked. The financial reports show that about 15 couples donated $218,000 to help Paxton pay lawyers and court fees. However, Paxton insists that the donations were legal and that all of the donors are family friends who are not subject to state bribery laws.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz spent his Independence Day in McAllen, a democratic stronghold. The senator visited the 4th of July Parade and gave a speech, though at times he was hard to hear because of protestors. This isn't the first time Cruz visited that city, but he seems to be trying to drum up support ahead of the midterm elections. Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke is challenging Cruz for his seat. He spent his Independence Day in Lubbock, a long-time Republican stronghold.