Texas Republicans clash over foreign aid bill

One of Texas’ top state officials is arguing with the state’s longest-serving senator in Congress over a $95 billion foreign aid bill.

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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was one of 22 Republican senators who voted Monday night in favor of a bill to send funds to Ukraine and Israel, drawing sharp reactions from the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“Unbelievable that @JohnCornyn stays up all night defending other countries’ borders, but not America’s,” Paxton wrote on X.

Hours later, still attacking the senator online, Paxton continued, calling Cornyn “America’s last RINO” who “once again joined the Biden administration to fund and prioritizing foreign wars in the face of the national security crisis at the southern border.”

Responding to Paxton’s attacks, Cornyn raised Paxton’s ongoing legal troubles over allegations he fired four people who reported him to federal authorities for abusing his office. The trial led state lawmakers to file articles of impeachment against Paxton in 2023, and the state Senate later acquitted him.

But the lawsuit remains. Earlier this year, a district judge ruled that Paxton must testify under oath about the case by February 1 of this year. The judge issued his ruling a day after Paxton said he would stop challenging the lawsuit now that the impeachment inquiry is complete, an announcement that has since led at least one state lawmaker to attempt to reopen the case .

“Ken, your criminal defense attorneys are calling to suggest that you spend less time promoting Russian propaganda and more time defending the long-standing criminal charges against you in Houston, as well as the pending proceedings of the great federal jury in San Antonio that will likely result in new criminal charges,” Cornyn tweeted.

Paxton’s line hits at Cornyn Tuesday morning weren’t his first.

In mid-2022, after Cornyn told reporters that Paxton’s numerous scandals were “an embarrassment,” the attorney general tweeted that he was not surprised by the snide remarks.

“He represents the Bush wing of the GOP,” Paxton wrote at the time. “I will never care about Senator Cornyn’s ability to compromise with the radical Senate Democrats in Washington.”

The foreign aid bill that sparked Tuesday’s electronic uproar may have passed the Senate, but it may all have been for naught after House Speaker Mike Johnson , rejected it in a statement Monday evening.