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Texas Matters: Constitutional Crisis; Maternal Mortality Mishap; & Future Of SNAP

David Martin Davies
Texas Public Radio

On this episode of “Texas Matters”:

  • How are anti-Trump activists preparing for the possibility that President Trump will fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller?
  • New data shows that the Texas maternal mortality problem isn’t as bad as it was thought. So now what (11:10)?
  • How the Farm Bill could take away benefits from the poor in Texas (22:50).

President Donald Trump is showing signs of impatience with the investigation of special prosecutor Robert Mueller into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. The raids this week on the office and hotel room of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen has triggered inflamed tweets from the president.

Trump supporters are also calling for the firing of Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who signed off on the raids.

The firing of Rosenstein could be a way to set up the shutting down of the Mueller investigation, which would create a constitutional crisis. 

Ben Wikler, an organizer for Moveon.org, joins the program to discus the issue.

Maternal Mortality

For the past few years, Texas’s maternal mortality rate was so high it seemed unbelievable.

As it turns out, it was not to be believed.

According to a study by the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, maternal morbidity figures from 2012 — which had Texas mothers dying at rates that shocked experts and the public — were based on "sloppy and erroneous" data collection.

But who’s fault is that, and what’s being done to fix it?

Sophie Novack is covering this issue for the Texas Observer.

Farm Bill Cuts SNAP

The Farm Bill being proposed by Republicans that control Congress have crafted a bill that adds new work mandates for the more than 40 million food stamp recipients.

The SNAP program would require adults ages 18 to 59 to work or participate in job training for 20 hours a week.

Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, said the proposed Farm Bill will take snap benefits from Texans who depend on the anti-hunger program.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi