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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

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 […]

The real reason we need border security

To protect us from these guys. Several anti-government groups – many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch – are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country. […]

What do the Mayors want?

Action on climate change. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group that represents the leaders of 1,400 cities, each of which is home to at least 30,000 people, has called on the Obama administration and Congress to “enact an Emergency Climate Protection law that provides a framework and funding for the implementation … of […]

Of course some people will split their votes

It’s just a matter of how many of them do so, and if the races in question are close enough for it to matter. Democrats are hoping the Republicans will eventually make some of the mistakes Democrats themselves made back when they were on top and the GOP was trying to break down the doors […]

Steve Stockman ethics update

He still doesn’t have any, but I’m talking about the investigation into his highly questionable campaign finance activity. The House Ethics Committee extended its probe into U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman on Wednesday, releasing a report detailing allegations that he tried to cover up illegal campaign contributions from people who worked in his congressional office at […]

Culberson versus Poe on University line funding

Unfortunately, Culberson has won again. In a repeat of last year, Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, and Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, took their dispute over the Metropolitan Transit Agency’s University Line to the floor of the House on Monday. Culberson, as he has for the past two years, added a section to the federal transportation spending […]

Culberson’s attempt to kill the Universities Line about to come up for a vote

From Houston Tomorrow: US Representative John Culberson has pushed an amendment through to the floor of the US House of Representatives to specifically deny Houston federal funding for rail transit in two corridors, according to the text of the bill HR4745 (page 52, section 165): SEC. 165. None of the funds in this or any […]

The Latino Victory Project

I like the sound of this. Building on record-breaking fundraising numbers, an expanded donor base and a historically high number of Latino voters in the 2012 presidential election, a progressive Latino group is set to officially begin efforts to expand the reach of Latino voters and candidates in the 2014 cycle and beyond. Founded by […]

Where are all the ladies?

Christy Hoppe of the DMN notices something missing on the Republican side of the 2014 ballot. The Texas Republican Party has a girl problem. A glance down the list of GOP nominees set after Tuesday’s runoffs makes it look as if U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has signed up for shop class. She […]

Primary runoff results

So long, Dave. Riding a wave of conservative sentiment that Texas Republicans were not being led with a hard enough edge, state Sen. Dan Patrick crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for lieutenant governor, ending the career of a dominant figure in state politics for the last dozen years. The […]

We could have better transportation infrastructure if we wanted it

House Speaker Joe Straus embraces the end-the-diversions approach to transportation funding. Texas’ booming economy and massive transportation needs are inching the state toward simplifying highway spending, officials say. The latest move to end so-called diversions from the State Highway Fund came Wednesday, when Speaker Joe Straus said the next Texas budget proposed by the House […]

Steve Stockman’s ongoing FEC issues

“Steve Stockman” and “ethical issues” go together like peanut butter and jelly. For a congressman who has overseen four campaign committees in two decades, Rep. Steve Stockman is having a hard time dissolving his troubled congressional campaign. Now a lame duck, the Clear Lake Republican first tried on April 16 to terminate Friends of Congressman […]

FEC approves Bitcoin for campaign contributions

It’s the right call. The Federal Election Commission on Thursday voted to allow political committees to accept Bitcoin donations and outlined the ways that the virtual currency can be used by federally regulated campaigns. Responding to a request from a political action committee, the commissioners unanimously approved an advisory opinion that defined Bitcoins, which allows […]

The small number of competitive legislative races in November

The Trib discusses the lack of legislative action in November. In the House, nine Republican and two Democratic races are still undecided. An early list of competitive November races — this is in a House with 150 seats — comes in under a dozen. Put another way, there are about as many competitive races in […]

Legalize moonshining

You can brew your own beer at home, and you can ferment your own wine at home, but if you try to distill your own spirits at home, you’re asking for trouble from the rev’nooers. The movement to legalize marijuana dominates headlines these days, but another group is laboring in relative obscurity to legalize its […]

FEC ponders Bitcoin donations

For those of you that might want to make political contributions via Bitcoin. The Federal Election Commission appears poised to rule on whether and how campaigns and PACs can accept bitcoins as political contributions. The news comes as Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign for governor announced Wednesday that he will accept contributions made in bitcoin. […]

Stockman being investigated for ethics issues

Raise your hand if you’re the least bit surprised by this. The House ethics committee is inquiring into the campaign finances of Rep. Steve Stockman, the Clear Lake Republican who has been questioned repeatedly over the last year about misreported campaign contributions and deficient disclosures. A spokesman for Stockman acknowledged the inquiry Friday, and the […]

The farm team

Roll Call takes a look at the Texas Democrats of the future. Democrats rarely fielded competitive Senate candidates over the past two decades — the party’s three best performers in that time span received 44 percent, 43 percent and 43 percent — but that may change by the next midterm cycle. State and national Democrats […]

National ag groups not happy with Republicans

It’s all about immigration reform. Craig Regelbrugge, who co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, says a large majority of his group’s members — which include large and small farming enterprises and growers all around the country — are Republican, and many give to the GOP. But he’s increasingly hearing from members who are so […]

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Denise Pratt is a gift that keeps on giving. Denise Pratt may not be gone just yet. Two days after announcing her immediate resignation as presiding judge of the 311th family District Court – and the suspension of her re-election campaign – Pratt sent a text message to supporters on Sunday asking them to “call […]

Primary results: Legislature and Congress

The big news on the Democratic side is the close loss by longtime Rep. Lon Burnam in HD90, who fell by 111 votes to Ramon Romero Jr. I know basically nothing about Rep.-elect Romero, but I do know that Rep. Burnam has been a progressive stalwart, and it is sad to see him go. His […]

Endorsement watch: The Chron still loves Orlando

They don’t love him enough to endorse him during or before early voting, but they do still love him. [Republican] primary voters should give [County Treasurer Orlando] Sanchez a place on the November ballot. Sanchez, 62, is a former three-term member of Houston City Council and two-time unsuccessful candidate for mayor, but he seems to […]

Who will be the next Steve Stockman?

No one can truly replace Steve Stockman, one of the most gifted performance artists that the Congress has ever seen, but many are trying to win his now-vacated seat. In some ways no one can replace Steve Stockman, who chose not to seek re-election to Texas’ 36th Congressional District and instead mounted what many see […]

Endorsement watch: Hey, there’s still a little bit of early voting left

From the “You just can’t rush these things” department, the Chron endorses James Cargas in the Democratic primary rematch in CD07. Whomever wins in the Democratic primary for U.S. House 7th District will face an uphill battle in a Republican-friendly district to defeat Rep. John Culberson. But voters can also look at this race as […]

Pity the poor Hispanic Republicans

I’d say I feel sorry for them, but I don’t. Every few years, I like to check in with Massey Villarreal to see if he’s still a Republican. He still was on Thursday. But it’s getting harder all the time. The Houston businessman and former national chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly didn’t bother […]

Culberson says he’s killed the University Line

And maybe he has, though it wasn’t going anywhere at this time anyway. Residents and business owners along Richmond Avenue are breathing a sigh of relief — at least for now — as U.S. Rep. John Culberson has had his way, quashing federal funding for light-rail along Richmond, west of Shepherd, and on Post Oak […]

Cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face isn’t a matter of principle

It’s just stupid and self-destructive. Lots of conservative lawmakers hate Obamacare. Rep. Louie Gohmert is putting his money where his mouth is. The Tyler Republican gave up his health insurance for 2014, asserting that the president’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, has made coverage too expensive. “Other people are going to see […]

VRA 2.0

Texas Redistricting: [Thursday] morning, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) introduced proposed amendments to the Voting Rights Act that would rework the section 5 coverage formula invalidated by the Supreme Court in Shelby Co. v. Holder. The text of the bill – styled the Voting Rights Amendment Act […]

Who are these people on our ballot?

The filing deadline is long past, and campaigning for the primary and general election is well underway. Democrats in Harris County have a fairly full complement of legislative candidates this fall, some of whom are better known than others. I thought I’d take a moment to look over the primary ballot list and see what […]

What can we do to get the Universities Line going?

This story is about the opening of the North Line, but it’s also about where Metro goes from here. The opening of the lines won’t spell the end of the construction. To complete the final mile of the East Line, Metro must build an underpass at Harrisburg and 66th Street at the Houston Belt & […]

The 12-candidate pileup in CD36

Steve Stockman’s last-minute switch to the Senate race left a void in CD36 on the Republican side that is being filled by a dozen Stockman wannabes. The Republican primary ballot for the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman was set Monday evening — a week later than expected — with five additional candidates signing […]

More primary thoughts

I wonder if Big John Cornyn will come to rue this interview. BDS: At the kickoff for your reelection campaign in November, Governor Perry said that you are “the epitome of what I look for in a U.S. senator.” He has certainly been embraced by members of the tea party. But in your speech you […]