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Male Texas lawmakers nearly fistfight on House floor after GOP women defect from anti-abortion bill

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An abortion battle in the Texas legislature nearly turned into a fistfight on Sunday night after several Republican women changed their mind about a bill that would ban health insurance from covering abortions.

According to the Houston Chronicle, House sergeants had to stop Republican state Rep. Jonathan Stickland from attacking Rep. Byron Cook (R) after Senate Bill 575 did not make it to the House floor as he expected.

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Cook had reportedly promised to move SB 575 out of the State Affairs Committee to the Calendars Committee if Stickland agreed to drop an amendment that would have banned abortions based on fetal abnormalities.

Although Cook kept his word, three Republican women on the Calendars Committee — Reps. Sarah Davis, Debbie Riddle and Patricia Harless — backed out of supporting the bill at the last minute and sided with the Democrats, killing the measure with a 7-7 vote.

At around 9:30 p.m., an enraged Stickland got in Cook’s face on the House floor. After a brief yelling match and nearly coming to blows, House sergeants got in between the two to prevent the scuffle from continuing, The Texas Tribune reported.

Cook later told reporters that he never promised that the bill would pass the Calendars Committee.

“My commitment was to get the bill out [of State Affairs], to get it to Calendars,” Cook said. “I did everything I could do. What I can’t do is interfere with other members’ free will to vote their conscience. Everybody should be able to do that. And women sent a clear message that they weren’t comfortable with this legislation, probably weren’t comfortable with us men telling them what to do. And I respect that.”

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But in the end, Stickland’s temper tantrum worked.

The Calendars Committee reconvened after the House session and voted to move SB575 forward by a vote of 8-0. Two Republicans and all of the Democrats were marked as absent. Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle swung her vote in support of the bill, but it was not immediately clear why she had changed her mind.

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GOP now stands for ‘Gang of Putin’: Conservative slams Republican ‘affinity’ for Russian president

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For aging Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers who are old enough to remember the Cold War, the admiration that the alt-right has for Russian President Vladimir Putin — a former KGB agent — is quite ironic. And that irony isn’t lost on conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot, who is highly critical of President Donald Trump’s pro-Putin outlook in his December 4 column.

Boot, now 50, was born in Moscow on September 12, 1969 — back when Moscow was still part of the Soviet Union. But he was still a kid when his parents fled the Soviet Union and moved to Los Angeles, where he grew up. The Soviet Union ceased to exist in the early 1990s, and Putin is a right-wing authoritarian — not a communist. Boot, however, emphasizes in his column that Russia is still no friend of the United States.

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Trump’s promises on manufacturing jobs have collapsed — all thanks to his trade war

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One of President Donald Trump's biggest promises during the 2016 campaign was to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

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Trump’s ‘deep state’ conspiracy theories are going down the drain — thanks to his own appointees

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President Donald Trump's insistence that the entire probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election was a setup by nefarious law enforcement agents has been dealt a significant blow in recent days.

According to multiple reports, Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on the origins of the Russia probe will conclude that there was sufficient reason for the FBI to open up an investigation into the Trump campaign given the knowledge they had in the summer of 2016.

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