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John Cornyn, Ted Cruz doubt Trump would use Hurricane Harvey funds for border wall; Cornyn says he’d oppose it

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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Friday he would oppose any effort to redirect Hurricane Harvey relief funds to pay for a border wall — a move that he and fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz agreed was unlikely to happen.

There were reports Thursday that the Trump administration was considering using some of the $13.9 billion in disaster relief money that Congress approved for Texas and other states to construct Trump’s long-sought border barrier. Friday marked the 21st day of a federal government shutdown over Trump’s demands for border wall dollars.

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“I will oppose any reprogramming of Harvey disaster funds,” Cornyn told reporters after a joint appearance with Cruz in Austin. “We worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey — their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild. And I think we are all together on that.”

Cruz, who spoke with reporters alongside Cornyn, said he did not believe the Trump administration “is going to do anything to reduce the funding for Hurricane Harvey relief.” Cornyn said he agreed.

“I think some of these reports are overstated,” Cruz said. “I don’t think we’re going to see that money jeopardized in any way.”

Cruz and Cornyn appeared together at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2019 Policy Orientation a day after joining Trump for a visit to McAllen, where he continued to make the case for a border wall amid the shutdown.

Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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2020 Election

The FDA repeatedly stood up to Trump on coronavirus — and even won some victories: NYT

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President Donald J. Trump has repeatedly tried to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and now, with just two weeks until Election Day, the world is learning more about the behind-the-scenes battles that have shaken these governmental entities to the core.

Approximately two weeks after Trump's release from Walter Reed Medical Center, there is no "cure," as the president stated, and he is not "immune." No one is immune - and there is no successful vaccine, regardless of how much Trump claims one will arrive before Nov. 3. The F.D.A. published the guidelines in briefing materials to an advisory committee that will discuss them on Thursday, effectively making them official. To be clear, the F.D.A.has not approved Trump's miraculous cure of a cocktail - even though he has claimed differently.

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2020 Election

America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.

"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.

15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.

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Pro-Trump activist who claims he’s from the future will represent himself against federal charges for stealing NFL brain scans

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reported that Austin Steinbart — a QAnon activist controversial even within the pro-Trump conspiracy world — plans to act as his own attorney in an upcoming federal criminal case.

Some QAnon news: QAnon figure Austin Steinbart, who goes by the alias "Baby Q" and has claimed to be the leader of QAnon visiting from the future via time travel, just filed to act as his own attorney in a federal felony case. What could go wrong?

— Will Sommer (@willsommer) October 20, 2020

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