AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has met with the Honduran president but didn't discuss Texas border security efforts aimed at staunching the flow of immigrants.
The meeting Thursday with Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez was the first time Abbott has hosted a Central America leader since taking office. Abbott said in a statement that the two focused their discussion on economic relations.
Tens of thousands of migrant children fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras crossed into Texas last year. The first lady of Honduras visited a South Texas immigration shelter last summer at the height of what was described as a humanitarian crisis.
Abbott is pushing for a costly and significant increase in border security. The plan has widespread GOP support but growing tensions in the Legislature are complicating those efforts.
NEW ABORTION RESTRICTIONS PASSED, THEN SCRAPPED
The Texas House briefly approved new abortion restrictions involving fetuses with severe abnormalities before a sweeping health bill was quickly withdrawn.
The unexpected vote Thursday marked a new push by Republicans to further tighten Texas abortion restrictions that are already among the toughest in the nation.
Abortions are banned in Texas after 20 weeks except when the fetus has severe health defects. While the Republican-controlled House debated a mundane health agency bill, state Rep. Matt Schaefer successfully tacked on a rider that would end that exception.
The entire bill was later pulled down after Democrats launched technical objections.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is strongly anti-abortion but the issue has not been a priority in his first session.
BREAST MILK PUMPING FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES GETS HOUSE APPROVAL
The Texas House has preliminarily passed a measure that would require public employers to accommodate mothers who need to pump breast milk.
Although Houston Democratic Rep. Armando Walle wasn't allowed to use props he brought to show how difficult the process is for new mothers, his measure passed on a voice vote Thursday.
The legislation would require public employers to provide women who need to pump breast milk a lockable room that is not a bathroom, and give them associated work breaks.
Walle said he got the idea for the bill from a public school teacher. But as the father of a 1-year-old, Walle said the issue is also "very close" to him.
The measure now awaits final approval and will then go to the House.
The House and Senate are bought adjourned until Monday.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"This is wrong, and unnecessary, and strictly to gain political favor. I'm truly offended." — Democratic state Rep. Eddie Lucio, urging the House to vote against banning abortions after 20 weeks when the fetus has severe abnormalities.