Clay Robison On House Committees, All Are Not Created Equal

Posted in 80th Legislature at 10:33 am by wcnews

Great article this morning, Speaker runs out of plums in the House. Does a good job of laying out the hollow victory the Iscariot Caucus won by backing Craddick.

Immigration? Isn’t that a problem the Border and International Affairs Committee will tackle? Isn’t that why four of its seven members are either Hispanic or represent areas in South Texas or along the border?

No and no.

With no disrespect to its members, because it’s not their fault, the Border and International Affairs Committee is more of a political gesture than a heavy lifter. Granted, the House is just now getting organized, but so far Craddick has assigned the panel only two bills, one naming a highway and the other dealing with cemeteries.

By contrast, the State Affairs Committee, stacked with conservative Anglo Republicans who live nowhere near the Mexican border, already has been assigned 24 bills, including six dealing with immigrants.

One is HB28 by Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, which would deny education, health care and other public benefits to the Texas-born children of illegal immigrants, despite a constitutional provision that gives citizenship to people born in the United States.

Another is Berman’s HB29, which would impose a fee on money wired to Mexico or Central or South America.

Immigration obviously has an impact throughout the state, and lawmakers who represent the border area don’t have a monopoly on addressing those concerns. But it does seem absurd, as the Mexican American Legislative Caucus has pointed out, that the border is without geographic representation on the committee that will try to deal with the highly controversial issue.

And there it is. The Democrats that voted for Craddick got selected to run committees, Border & International Affairs (has a 5 -2 Democratic advantage), that sound good but in reality will not be given anything serious to do. At least that’s the way is looks right now. But that Speaker they voted for is not referring bills dealing with the border to that committee and instead all they’re in charge of is naming roads and similar nonsensical stuff. Instead the Speaker is referring bills dealing with the border to a committee, State Affairs (has a 7 - 2 Republican advantage), he packed with right-wing hacks. More fallout from the Speaker’s race and the Iscariot Caucus. This is a great article by Clay Robison pointing out the intricacies of the how the Speaker is playing with the committees in the House.

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