High court nominee: I'll be unbiased or 'hang up the robe'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch pledged to be independent or "hang up the robe" as the U.S. Senate began rancorous hearings Monday on President Donald Trump's conservative pick to fill a Supreme Court seat that has been vacant for more than a year. Gorsuch sought to take the edge off Democratic complaints that he has favored the wealthy and powerful in more than 10 years as a federal judge.

Former Texas congressman accused of taking charity's money

HOUSTON (AP) -- Former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, who invited rocker Ted Nugent to President Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union address, is accused of spending money meant for charity on himself and contributions to his campaign. Stockman, a Republican who served two non-consecutive terms in the U.S. House, is charged with conspiracy to make conduit contributions and false statements. He was released from custody after a hearing Friday in Houston federal court.

GOP senator complicates Trump, Ryan efforts on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- One of the loudest critics of GOP health legislation is not a Democrat or even a conservative rebel, but a Republican loyalist and staunch defender of President Donald Trump. Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is not known for clashing with leadership or plotting with conservative trouble-makers in the House, as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are wont to do.

It's a congressional road trip _ and stab at bipartisanship

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's a congressional road trip -- and a stab at bipartisanship. Two Texas congressmen -- a Democrat and a Republican -- are livestreaming their 1,600 mile drive from San Antonio to Washington, talking to constituents as they sit in traffic and even hit the burger drive-thru. Republican Rep. Will Hurd and Democratic Rep.

Officials from Mexico and Texas urge state to defend NAFTA

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas has benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement more than anywhere else in the U.S. and should defend the pact against attempts by Donald Trump's administration to undermine it, officials from the state and Mexico said Monday. Rolando Pablos, the Texas secretary of state, and Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico's consul general in Austin, spoke to legislators during a hearing at the state Capitol.

Trump speech leaves GOP encouraged, but still divided

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress left Republicans encouraged and enthusiastic Wednesday, yet still confronting thorny divisions on health care, taxes and more. Trump's disciplined and optimistic tone was what GOP lawmakers wanted to hear after a rocky first month that provoked daily anxiety on Capitol Hill with each new presidential tweet. Republicans welcomed Trump's presentation and his call for "a new chapter of American greatness.

Supreme Court orders new hearing for black Texas inmate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a new court hearing for a black Texas prison inmate whose death sentence may have been tainted by disturbing references to race. Lawyers for inmate Duane Buck said the result of the court's 6-2 decision is that Buck must either be given a sentence of life in prison or a new sentencing hearing. "Our law punishes people for what they do, not who they are.