Politics & Government

Texas Republicans mull options over jobs bill mandate

AUSTIN — The possibility of legal action remained on the table as the state's Republican political leaders decried a Texas-specific mandate included in a $26 billion jobs bill that won final congressional approval Tuesday.

President Barack Obama signed the measure into law hours after it passed the Democratic-led House.

Texas Republicans object to a Texas-only amendment crafted by the state's congressional Democrats to prevent Gov. Rick Perry and other state leaders from diverting millions of dollars in federal education assistance to other purposes. Republicans have denounced the restriction as a political stunt that would require them to violate the Texas Constitution to receive the money.

"We'll continue to work with state leaders, including the attorney general, to fight this injustice," Perry said after the bill cleared the House with the provision intact. Last week, Republican leaders threatened to sue the federal government if the amendment by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, stayed in the bill.

Asked whether Texas will press ahead with a lawsuit, Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said, "We'll review our options."

House members returned to Washington from a six-week summer recess to approve the Senate-passed bill 247-161, sending it to Obama.

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