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Local Reaction to State of the Union, ERCOT, & Art of Bartending: Houston Matters for Wed., Jan. 29, 2014

President Obama addressed a number of issues in his State of the Union address that have implications for Houston and Texas. The general tenor of his speech also has implications for the Lone Star State. Prominent Texas officials including Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz have vociferously opposed much of the President’s agenda. Cruz […]

Larry Downing/Reuters/Landov

President Obama addressed a number of issues in his State of the Union address that have implications for Houston and Texas. The general tenor of his speech also has implications for the Lone Star State. Prominent Texas officials including Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz have vociferously opposed much of the President’s agenda. Cruz was a key figure in the government shutdown. The Perry administration has resisted many elements of the Affordable Care Act, calls for gun control after Sandy Hook, and other issues supported by the Obama Administration in the last year.

Amid that atmosphere, the President spoke about steps he’s prepared to take without Congress, through executive orders. Among them, he announced he’ll raise the minimum wage for new federal workers, and he encouraged other executive and legislative leaders at state and local levels to do the same.

We discuss that shift in approach, the atmosphere in Washington, and what it all means for Houston and Texas on today’s edition of Houston Matters. We hear from Congressmen Kevin Brady and Gene Green, and then welcome your questions for political scientist Christine Leveaux from the University of Houston, and David McCumber, Hearst Washington Bureau Chief and contributor to the Houston Chronicle’s “Texas on the Potomac” coverage.

Also this hour: Dave Fehling, KUHF’s StateImpact Reporter for energy and the environment, stops by to explain how ERCOT – the Electric Reliability Council of Texas – manages electric flow for 23 million Texans.

Plus: Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin stops by a local bar to learn more about what it takes to be a great bartender in Houston.

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