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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Cruz may go on Obamacare

Go ahead, laugh it up. You know you want to. Ted Cruz, one of the loudest critics of Obamacare, will soon be using it for health insurance coverage. “We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz, a Republican […]

Sports betting

There may soon come a day when you can place a bet on your favorite team without having to travel, visit offshore Internet websites, or interact with people who don’t have necks. [NBA Commissioner Adam] Silver, in a November op-ed submission to the New York Times, said he supports federal regulation creating “a safe and […]

Farenthold replies to the lawsuit against his office

Here we go. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, has formally denied a former employee’s claims that he sexually harassed and discriminated against her. Instead, he fired the staffer for “poor performance and failure to report to work,” his legal team said in federal court filings Thursday. Lauren Greene, Farenthold’s former communications director, alleges “gender […]

The Fair BEER Act

I’m in. The act would reform the federal beer tax imposed on brewers and beer importers and give a special boost to small brewers. The idea is to create a laddered rate that is based on how much a brewer produces, much the same way the income tax rate is higher the more money you […]

Gallego/Hurd 2.0 seems likely

I won’t be surprised. A congressional rematch may be nigh in southwest Texas. National Democrats still reeling from their midterm clobbering are intent on picking up seats in 2016, and their eyes already are on Texas’ only competitive congressional district, the 23rd. U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, won the seat by a mere 2,422 […]

The Farenthold files

The Farenthold lawsuit continues to have promise as the underrated scandal of the year. In his first interview since the suit was filed in December, [Rep. Blake] Farenthold said he was shocked by the allegations made by Lauren Greene, the former staffer. “I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t imagine us having any problems in […]

Flying to Cuba

You can get there from Houston, or at least you will be able to soon. United Airlines made it clear Thursday it intends to offer regular commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, saying it would look to offer service from its Houston and Newark hubs to the Caribbean island. The Chicago-based carrier’s statement came […]

Louie, Louie

Great news, everyone. Christmas isn’t over yet. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, announced Sunday morning that he will challenge House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to be the leader of the House Republicans. Gohmert is, for now, likely a long-shot threat to Boehner. But two years ago, Boehner won re-election as speaker by one […]

Ty McDonald for HD17

As you know, the special election to replace Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt in HD17 has been set for January 6, with early voting to begin on December 29. This is the same schedule as the elections in HD123 and SD26. As you also know, I have been an advocate for running a Democrat in HD17, on […]

I’ll see you in C-U-B-A

Among the many likely winners of the new US policy towards Cuba will be the city of Houston. As an established travel gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Houston is positioned to benefit from any potential easing of tourism restrictions in Cuba. “There’s a lot of fascination with Cuba,” said Michelle Weller, a travel […]

Lawsuit filed against the office of Rep. Blake Farenthold

Um, wow. A woman who worked for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold filed a federal lawsuit against his congressional office, alleging she experienced gender-based discrimination and that a hostile work environment prompted her termination in July. Former Communications Director Lauren Greene alleges that Farenthold, the two-term Republican from Corpus Christi, made lewd and inappropriate comments, according […]

Romo to run in SD26

The race to succeed Sen. Leticia Van de Putte just got a little more interesting. Sylvia Romo, former tax assessor-collector for Bexar County, on Tuesday morning entered the race to replace state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, bringing to four the number of candidates in the special election for Senate District 26. For […]

Please get a flu shot

It’s always a good idea, even if it’s more effective in some years than in others. The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths. Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does […]

Steve Stockman may leave Congress but his stench will linger

Steve Stockman, ladies and gentlemen. When Rep. Steve Stockman won a long-shot bid in 2012 to return to the House of Representatives, he credited a dream team of tech-savvy volunteers who worked long hours and slept on the floor of a cluttered Webster motorcycle-repair shop that was eventually shut down for building-code violations. At the […]

DCCC wants Gallego for a rematch in 2016

No surprise here. Rep. Pete Gallego lost his re-election bid two weeks ago — and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is already pushing for him to run in 2016, Roll Call reports. Gallego, a freshman Democrat from Alpine, was unseated by Republican Will Hurd by about 2,000 votes. Hurd, a former CIA operative, will now […]

Kleinschmidt to resign in HD17

Just in case you thought there weren’t enough special elections on the horizon. Newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is reaching out to a former House colleague to fill a key staff position in his new administration. A source close to the Miller transition team said Friday afternoon that Miller reached out to state Rep. […]

Paper ballots make a comeback

From the Everything Old Is New Again department: States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day. With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return […]

The Battleground effect in legislative races

So here’s a crazy idea. Rather than judge Battleground Texas by our own beliefs about how things should have gone, what say we take a look at the actual numbers of a few races and see what they tell us? In particular, let’s look at the numbers in the Blue Star Project races, which were […]

First impressions of the 2014 results

My initial thoughts, for what they are worth. – Let me begin by saying that for all the criticism I had of the UT/Texas Trib’s polling and the skepticism of Internet-sample methodology, they were fairly accurate in the end. In particular, the last YouGov result just about nailed it. I still think what they do […]

Endorsement watch: DMN drops the ball

The Dallas Morning News got off to a good start as it wrapped up its election endorsements by making the crystal-clear case for Leticia Van de Putte. There are a couple of ways to keep your house warm this winter. You could choose the reliable heater you’ve known for years. Or you could keep gasoline […]

Saving SD10 and other benchmarks

The Observer looks at the race to succeed Wendy Davis in SD10. It’s a steamy, hot summer morning in the Metroplex, and at the Dixie House, a Southern-style diner in east Ft. Worth where gravy flows like water, Libby Willis can’t find a moment to dig into her eggs and hash. She’s too excited about […]

On Gene Green and representing Latino districts

I’ve been meaning to blog about this story about Rep. Gene Green and CD29 and how the Houston area has never sent a Latino to Congress, but I kept getting stuck and I finally decided I was overthinking it. Two decades after local political leaders thought they had solved the demographic puzzle with a new […]

Congressional Dems request federal investigation of Abbott’s persecution of Houston Votes

Good. Democratic congressmen from Texas have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a raid by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office that targeted a nonprofit voter registration group. The Dallas Morning News reported Aug. 31 on the attorney general’s criminal investigation of Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. The probe was […]

Second phase of redistricting trial over

Much like the first phase, with some insults for one of the state’s key players thrown in for effect. Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department and minority groups said in closing arguments in federal court Tuesday that state lawmakers illegally targeted Latino and African-American voters when redrawing congressional districts in 2011. Meanwhile, lawyers for the […]

Ninety years later, we could still use an Equal Rights Amendment

I have three things to say about this. Drafted by a suffragette in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment has been stirring up controversy ever since. Many opponents considered it dead when a 10-year ratification push failed in 1982, yet its backers on Capitol Hill, in the Illinois statehouse and elsewhere are making clear this summer […]

More on the Perry indictment

Just some more thoughts and links relating to the big story that turned a relatively quiet Friday into one of the busiest news day of the year so far. Let’s start with a reality check from Harold Cook. First of all, I’m a bit puzzled by the indictment. It seems weak to me. When the […]

Just a reminder: Medicaid expansion is still a great deal

But only if you do it. We learned late last week that the decision by 24 states to reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion comes as a startling cost — $423.6 billion in lost federal funds from 2013 to 2022, according to researchers at the Urban Institute. So how are states justifying their decisions to leave that […]

On redistricting and race

Phase Two of the redistricting trial is underway, and if it sounds an awful lot like Phase One to you, you would be right. Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature didn’t discriminate against minorities by drawing election maps in 2011 that voting-rights activists say make it harder for Hispanics and blacks to elect their candidates, a lawyer for […]

Redistricting II: Congressional Boogaloo

Phase Two of the redistricting lawsuit trial begins today, in which the 2011 Congressional maps go under the microscope. That’s as good a time as any for the mandatory How Much All This Redistricting Litigation Is Costing Us story. Texans are on the hook for $3.9 million in costs for Attorney General Greg Abbott to […]

Chron calls for end of pot prohibition

By which they mean that the federal government should repeal its anti-marijuana laws and leave it to the states to regulate. While there are still questions about long-term health effects of marijuana use or the policy implications of decriminalization or legalization, the United States knows all too well the consequences of continuing the war on […]

First phase of redistricting trial ends

Not much of interest must have happened, because news reports have been sparse, to say the least. The first phase of the federal trial examining claims that state lawmakers discriminated against African-American and Hispanic voters when redrawing Texas House districts in 2011 came to an end Tuesday, as both sides made closing arguments to a […]

Don’t sweat that court ruling on Obamacare tax credits just yet

It’s too soon to say what effect, if any will be felt in Texas. Opposing rulings from two federal courts Tuesday left unclear the future prospects of federal financial aid to Texans who qualify for assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled […]

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial

It’s about more than just the maps. Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps. A federal trial in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court made a […]

Next phases of redistricting lawsuit scheduled

Part One takes place next week. The trial over 2011 House district boundaries begins July 14 in U.S. District Court, where a hearing Tuesday shed light on how the case could unfold. The proceeding are expected to last at least six days — Monday through Saturday — with testimony from about 50 witnesses. The court […]