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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Texas really needs Obamacare

We’ve always known that Texas would be a huge beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act because of our huge volume of uninsured people, but this quantifies it in a way that really brings it home. Texas is home to more than two-thirds of the nation’s 30 counties most in need of expanded health insurance coverage, […]

SJL for DHS?

That sound you heard Monday was a bunch of heads exploding. Conservative bloggers went wild Monday when they got wind of the Congressional Black Caucus’ suggestion that President Obama pick Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston for the post of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Rich Cooper, avid blogger for Security Debrief, responded […]

More leftover campaign cash

The Chron writes about a subject I’ve covered before. Former Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs of Houston used leftover campaign funds to buy a life membership in the National Rifle Association. Former Rep. Martin Frost of Dallas paid a $6,000 Federal Election Commission fine. Former Rep. Tom DeLay of Sugar Land hired a media consultant. And former […]

Redistricting plaintiffs go for Section 3

It’s a brand new world out there. Minority-rights groups are charting “new territory” in the fight against Texas’ redistricting plan, using a provision of the Voting Rights Act that cites discriminatory intent as part of an effort to maintain federal oversight of the state’s congressional maps. The NAACP and the League of United Latin American […]

Redistricting tango continues in San Antonio

More to the point, the redistricting litigation continues, at least for the time being. A panel of federal judges denied the state’s request to dismiss the case, though they left open the possibility that they could do that later. And they asked lawyers to file briefs on what should happen next. Attorneys for parties objecting […]

The 2011 maps are officially dead

Rick Perry has signed the redistricting bills, thus making the 2012 interim maps the official state-sanctioned maps and thus dropping any further pursuit of the maps drawn by the 2011 Lege. On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry signed all three redistricting bills that lawmakers sent to him. With his signature, Perry set the district boundaries for […]

Last redistricting bill passes Senate, House debates abortion bills

It was destiny. The Texas Senate on Sunday wrapped up final redistricting loose ends by concurring with changes made by the House to political boundaries for the lower chamber. In an 18-11 vote, the Senate signed off on a series of small tweaks to the House maps — changes that swap a couple of precincts […]

House passes redistricting and abortion bills

Texas Redistricting: The House has passed SB 3, the redistricting bill for the state house map, on third and final reading. There was one last floor amendment today offered by State Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas), which moved Rose’s mother and a few other hundred voters into her district from HD 109 where they had been […]

House passes redistricting bills

They accepted a couple of amendments but otherwise the process wasn’t much different from the Senate or the House committee. A daylong debate on redistricting maps in the Texas House drew frustration from Democrats and growing concern from Republicans on Thursday as House leaders agreed to some amendments to one of the maps. Gov. Rick […]

Maybe they shouldn’t have listened to Abbott

If you’re a Republican involved in redistricting and you’ve begun to wonder why you ever took AG Greg Abbott’s legal advice on redistricting, I can’t blame you. All spring, Attorney General Greg Abbott had argued to Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus that the Legislature should adopt as its own work […]

Monday House action

The main action on Monday in the House was the House Redistricting Committee hearing. Where there’s a redistricting hearing, there’s Greg with a liveblogging session. Pay close attention to the stuff Greg writes about the questions that the Dems, in particular Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer (TMF) are asking, because they’re all about the future court fights. […]

Senate approves redistricting bills

As pro forma as they wanna be. The Texas Senate voted to ratify court-drawn political maps that were used for legislative and congressional races in 2012. The bills now head to the House. In party-line votes, Senators voted 16-11 to approve the interim maps for congressional and state House districts. The map of the state’s […]

Senate committee passed redistricting bills

As is, no amendments. After a two-hour hearing this morning, the Senate redistricting committee voted out bills that would make the three interim legislative and congressional maps permanent. The votes on the bills were all on party lines 8-6. Greg has the long form version of the amendment debates; he also liveblogged the House hearing, […]

Redistricting deal in the works?

Color me skeptical of this. The contours of an agreement might have emerged Monday as a special committee of the Texas House debated maps of congressional and legislative districts. A Republican lawmaker and an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus said there was a consensus that minority groups would accept maps that create one […]

Weekend redistricting update

I couldn’t find any news coverage from Saturday’s Senate Redistricting Committee hearing at UH, so you should read Greg’s liveblog of the event to find out what happened. The roadshow is in San Antonio today, and there will be two more after that, the Senate in Austin and the House in Houston, both on Wednesday. […]

Feisty redistricting hearing in Dallas

There really aren’t any other kind of redistricting hearings, when you get right down to it. Most of the testimony centered on whether to approve interim political maps used in the 2012 elections, or toss those lines out in favor of proposals that would create three congressional districts in North Texas where minorities could elect […]

Redistricting hearings schedule

Attend one if you can. Senate and House committees tapped to work on redistricting during the special session Tuesday released times, locations and dates for field hearings around the state. The Senate will hold two field hearings, one in Corpus Christi and one in Houston. – Friday, 5 p.m. at Texas A&M University, HRI Conference […]

The redistricting road show is coming

The House Redistricting Committee is taking it on the road. Rep. Drew Darby, chairman of the House Select Committee on Redistricting, said at a hearing Saturday that he’s decided to hold informational sessions in three of the state’s largest cities for members of the public who can’t make the trip to Austin. Specific dates and […]

Still no call to expand the call

Rick Perry may yet expand the call of the special session, but so far he’s sticking to his script about dealing with redistricting first. Gov. Rick Perry is leaving the door open for more items on the agenda of the newly called special legislative session, but he said Friday he wants lawmakers to bring him […]

The special session won’t be so short

The original idea behind the special session on redistricting was that it would be a quickie – gavel in, vote to adopt the interim maps as permanent, maybe vote on a few wingnut wish list items, and gavel out again. That may yet be the basic timeline, but it will take more time than first […]

Many questions at the redistricting hearing

From the Trib: The Legislature is currently considering whether to ratify maps drawn by the three federal judges and used in the 2012 elections. It became clear during Wednesday’s hearing that the judges and the lawyers in the case agree that the Legislature probably can’t make changes to the maps during the special session — […]

Why a special session on redistricting won’t resolve anything

From Texas Redistricting: Intentional Fragmentation  In the other parts of the map, redistricting plaintiffs contend that the Texas Legislature intentionally diluted African-American and Hispanic voting strength by fragmenting cohesive communities. This fragmentation, they argue, is especially pronounced in the DFW Metroplex, where the court-drawn interim map (Plan H309) adopted the Texas Legislature’s map (Plan H283) […]

Calling to add to the call

The special session is just a day old, and already legislators are lining up to extend its agenda to cover things that didn’t get done during regulation time. Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, and Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, have filed a resolution that would ask voters to approve diverting some of […]

Redistricting hearing set in San Antonio

Texas Redistricting: The San Antonio court entered an order this afternoon setting a hearing for May 29 at 9 a.m. to decide what to do with the Texas maps – or, more exactly, to decide how to decide what to do. The order acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby Co. would “affect the final […]

Abbott predicts special session for redistricting

For the first time, someone says out loud the rumor of a special session on redistricting. Attorney General Greg Abbott let House members know in the Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday that he expects and is hoping for a special session on redistricting — sooner than later. Several lawmakers in the meeting confirmed that Abbott […]

Dark money

It’s a small step, if it’s allowed to be taken, but the bill to require donor disclosure on so-called “dark money” is a step in the right direction. Senate Bill 346 takes direct aim at the cloak of anonymity that currently shields so-called “dark money” groups – those tax-exempt organizations whose donors drop big bucks […]

So where does redistricting stand?

From Texas Redistricting: The Texas Legislature is in the final stretch of its regular session (sine die on May 27), and, at this point, in the calendar, if anything gets done, it looks like it will have to start on the Senate side. Although a couple of redistricting bills – along with some proposals for […]

Look out, Lamar

There’s big money coming after you. The anti-incumbent super-PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability is coming back for 2014 after shutting down last election cycle — and it’s already making a wish list of targets, including Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas). 

 The organization, which targets long-serving House incumbents in safe districts, spent […]

Veasey v Garcia, Round Two?

Looks like we’ll have at least one high profile Democratic primary next year. Domingo Garcia’s pursuit of the national presidency of the League of United Latin American Citizens has just as much to do with politics as activism. The former state representative is considering whether to seek a rematch against Rep. Marc Veasey in the […]

Redistricting remains a partisan issue

We’re not surprised by this, right? Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger offered a redistricting bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee that would formally adopt interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year. The maps for Congressional, state Senate and House districts were used for the 2012 election while a federal court […]

Some things can’t be rebranded

Louie Gohmert, ladies and gentlemen. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) warned Wednesday that “radical Islamists” are being “trained to act like Hispanic[s]” and cross the U.S.-Mexico border. “We know Al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border,” he said Wednesday on C-Span. “We know that people that […]

Senate committee to take up interim maps bill

From Texas Redistricting: The Texas Senate’s state affairs committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m. (or upon adjournment) to consider SB 1524 – State Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill to adopt the court-drawn interim maps as permanent. As drafted, the bill would apply to all three maps that are currently in […]

Still pondering Abbott’s redistricting motives

The Trib’s Ross Ramsey wonders what Greg Abbott is up to. Greg Abbott is selling a redistricting nostrum, telling Texas legislators they could cut their legal risks by adopting new political maps right away. It is a hard sell. Lawmakers are getting along so well they practically break out into song every day. Abbott, the […]

The remaining holdouts on marriage equality

Last week, we talked about the Democratic members of the Legislature that had voted for the anti-gay marriage Constitutional amendment of 2005, and where they stood now. Along those lines, The Hill checks on the situation in Congress. Eleven House Democrats are on record as opposing gay marriage, even as support within their party for […]