In today's Brief: Potentially thousands of Texas homeowners and renters could fall through government cracks after Hurricane Harvey and details are still scarce on a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s death.

A quick note: Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday! We'll be back Monday, bringing you the latest news in Texas politics. 


As Texas undergoes what could be the largest housing recovery effort in U.S. history after Harvey, potentially thousands of renters and homeowners in the state trying to rebuild their lives could be at risk for financial ruin. 

That's thanks to disaster recovery efforts being split between a throng of government agencies, resulting in a lack of data on how many Texans could be forgotten — or how much personal fortune they stand to lose. 

All eyes are now on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency that doles out long-term recovery funds. They’ve already allocated more than $5 billion to Texas for those efforts and are set to establish how much should go where next month. The state wants as few specifics on those parameters as possible, and housing advocates are worried that officials will be more likely to steer funds to public works projects instead of rebuilding homes.


Details remain scant on what killed U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez and left another agent seriously wounded on Sunday.

Despite speculation over what may have happened to the agents, the FBI — the agency now heading the investigation — told reporters in El Paso on Tuesday they're exploring Martinez's death as the result of an attack on federal officers while examining other options. 

"There are a number of possible scenarios," said FBI special agent Emmerson Buie Jr. "However, in this instance we are going to pursue the one that is most challenging as it's presented to us, which is a potential assault." 

The other agent is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, per authorities Tuesday. 

We're testing a few changes around here. What do you think? Send your thoughts to 


• Ross Ramsey asks: Can Texas politicians police sexual harassment themselves? 

• Did you miss our conversation on health care reform efforts in Texas? Watch Tuesday's full video or check out our recap here

• A Houston City Council member is thinking about running as a Democrat for Texas governor. 


Paywall content noted with $.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: All Fort Worth police to get new automatic body, dashcams, chief says 

NPR: Judge blocks Trump administration from punishing "sanctuary cities"

The Daily Beast: Feds plan nationwide operation targeting food service chain over undocumented workers

The Austin American-Statesman: U.S. 183, I-35 projects waver after Abbott, Patrick trash tolls ($)

The Houston Chronicle: Harris County proposing dramatic overhaul of floodplain regulations ($)

The Wall Street Journal: Growing gas glut threatens West Texas oil boom ($)

The Dallas Morning News: Trump breaks silence, backs Roy Moore despite sex abuse allegations ($)


Join us in Houston on Nov. 30 for a conversation on health care after Hurricane Harvey with state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, Elena Marks, president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, and executive director of Harris County Public Health Umair Shah


"This is a limited amount of money that is made available to the state, and then the state has to pick winners and losers." 

— John Henneberger, co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, on federal aid for Harvey trickling down through layers of government for various projects

Thanks for reading The Brief, our daily dispatch on Texas politics, public policy and everything in between. Please shoot me your tips and feedback at Love this newsletter? Consider making a donation in support of our nonprofit newsroom. — Cassi Pollock

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