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Inside Texas Politics: Houston congressman wants to get bipartisan work done, but doesn't agree with Keystone pipeline decision

Rep. Dan Crenshaw does not agree with Biden’s order to stop work on the pipeline, saying it's a safer method to transport oil and gas than using trains and trucks.

Over the past few days, something has happened in Washington that hasn’t been seen in years. It is a sense of unity between Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.

The question is— can these leaders make it last? U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, is a rising star in the GOP. He has been critical of some of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders in office.

So, what issues can he work with the administration on?

Crenshaw is on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which he said has historically been bipartisan. He’s hoping to work with the administration on issues like saving the country’s nuclear plants, which do provide clean energy.

However, Crenshaw does not agree with Biden’s order to stop work on the Keystone pipeline.

“Last time I checked, that’s a safer to transport oil and gas than trains and trucks. That’s also a cleaner way to transport oil and gas,” said Crenshaw.

Crenshaw said the move could also cost thousands of jobs and negatively impact the Texas oil industry.

Richard Denne, the director of the TCU Energy Institute, however recently told WFAA he thinks politicians may be overstating the impact to jobs.

RELATED: Energy expert, politicians weigh impact of President Biden's action on Keystone pipeline, drilling rights

But Crenshaw does hope to work with his Democratic colleagues on issues related to healthcare. Crenshaw said making sure his constituents have direct primary care is one of his priorities.

As far as his long-term political career goals, Crenshaw said he’s focused on winning re-election two years from now. 

New state legislative session means new leader in Texas House

The 87th Texas Legislature is slowly coming together. Gov. Greg Abbott laid out some of his priorities a few days ago.

Two weeks into his new position, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan appears to be a refreshing restart in this chamber during a time of political volatility.

"I want people to know I’m an honest broker and an average guy who’s had the distinct honor of being the speaker of the House of Representatives here in Texas," said Phelan.

Phelan, 45, a calm, thoughtful person, used a respectful tone when explaining his positions. The Republican from Beaumont won the top job in the House with the support of every Democrat.

Speaker Phelan spoke in a wide-ranging interview on Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics.

More from our interview: Uncut interview with Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan: 'I'm an honest broker and an average guy'

Dallas mayor says dispute over registration hubs is about politics, not pandemic

There is a dispute at Dallas City Hall between council members and Mayor Eric Johnson.

One of the issues people are at odds over is the idea of creating COVID-19 registrations sites to help community members get signed up to be immunized. A series of letters and memos late last week were sent from the mayor and some council members outlining the issue.

Johnson said on ITP that state law clearly gives him the power to set up registration hubs across the city. He said politics need to be kept out of the decision-making process surrounding the vaccine.

But Johnson said council members are more concerned about their own districts than focusing on where these sites should be deployed.

“I never said we shouldn’t have them. I said we gotta have professionals making those decisions, not council members up for re-election,” said Johnson.

RELATED: Advocates say COVID-19 vaccine registration is crucial, as Dallas County reports its deadliest week

The council is holding an emergency meeting Monday night, but Johnson said that’s not when the decision will be made, because, he explained, the decision ultimately lies with him.

Johnson said his primary focus is on getting shots into people’s arms. The City of Dallas will receive 5,000 doses of the vaccine to give out to the public this coming week, its first such allocation.

On a personal note, Johnson recently announced he and his wife are expecting their third child. He said the child is due sometime in the spring and they have no plans to find out the child’s gender.

“Every kid has been a surprise,” Johnson said. The couple already has two boys.

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