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Congress

Rick Perry Blames President Obama for Refugee Crisis, But GOP House Won't Pass Immigration Reform


by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM CDT

As the GOP's anti-immigration fervor reaches a fever pitch they are making even Glenn Beck seem like a candidate for the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Governor Perry has now called for the federal government to immediately deport all unaccompanied minors while also demanding that aid to their home countries be cut off until they stop appearing at the US border.

Beck told The Blaze of his plans to bring soccer balls, teddy bears and water to the border, "I've never taken a position more deadly to my career than this - and I have never, ever taken a position that is more right than this." It is enough to make you wonder where all the supposed pro-life politicians in GOP have gone.

The harsh rhetoric coming from the Texas GOP Congressional delegation might explain why Beck fears for his career -- see what they're saying below the jump...

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Rep. Joaquin Castro Asks Congress to Open Military Academies to DREAMers


by: Katie Singh

Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

This week in the House, Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2015 that would "allow students with Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status to become eligible to apply to the U.S Military Academies." These students are more commonly known as DREAMers, because they are affected by the DREAM Act.

Military academies currently do not allow DREAMers to apply to or attend their schools. Rep. Castro's proposed amendment would allow DREAMers to apply to and attend US military academies, under the same standards and requirements that all students must follow. Undergraduate military academies require five years of service after graduation.

DREAMers have grown up in the United States, and consider this country their home. Those who wish to learn and serve their country should have the opportunity to do so, and Rep. Castro, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, is taking an important step to help make that a reality.

Read Congressman Castro's remarks about the importance of allowing DREAMers into military academies after the jump.

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Texas GOP Forced to Extend Filing Deadline to Replace Steve Stockman in CD-36


by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:30 PM CST

Grab your popcorn folks because the next 3 months are going to be fun to watch. Pursuant to Section 172.054 of the Texas Election Code the Republican Party of Texas is being forced to reopen the filing for the 36th Congressional District in Southeast Texas. The rule extends the filing deadline until Monday, December 16th, at 6 p.m but only for the party whose candidate withdrew.

That may seem unfair, but with 6 Republicans already in the race, you probably won't hear the lone Democrat Michael Cole complaining. On the flip-side for Democrats, the law also prevents someone who has filed for another office from making a switch. That would include Republican Incumbent State Representative James White who was rumored to being eyeing the switch.

With a wide open field it will be interesting to see how this race shapes up. So far no one has emerged as the immediate front-runner but there appears to be at least 2 proxy candidates, each backed by a different member of Congress. But, a better question may be why did Stockman switch in the first place?

Click below the jump to read the election code and see who is behind who in the race for CD-36...

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Congressional Republicans Plan To Obstruct Their Way To A Senate Majority


by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

Texas Congressman Pete Session told Roll Call, "Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate." That pretty much sums up what many even casual political observers have noticed about the GOP Congress -- their only goal is to see the President and his party fail.

Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly blame Congressional Republicans for the partial shutdown of the federal government which they also viewed quite negatively. Even as their popularity wanes, Republicans continue to dig in their heels in obstruction.  

Ironically that may not be the worst news for Democrats as they continue to lead in the generic Congressional ballot by better than 6%. In 2010 when the Tea Party wave crashed Congress, Republicans led the same poll by nearly 10%. Currently the partisan makeup of the House has Republicans leading by 31 of the 434 seats, meaning Democrats would need a pick up of 17 to take back the House.

Click below the jump to see what chance Republicans actually have to take back the US Senate in 2014...

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UT Student Assembly To Consider A Resolution To Support Undocumented Longhorns


by: aineeathar

Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:16 PM CDT

(Great guest post from a very brave UT student leader! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Last night, I bared my soul to the University of Texas- Austin's Student Government Assembly. As an undocumented Pakistani resident, my life is filled with fear that few can understand or imagine. But only by showing the world the reality of being undocumented can we cut through the misconceptions and vicious, racist stereotypes to create a dialogue on justice and civil rights.

For weeks, I've planned Undocumented Longhorns Week with the Center for Asian American Studies, Events+Entertainment, the University Leadership Initiative, Asian Pacific Desi American Collective, the Multicultural Engagement Center, and UT student leaders. Oct. 14th to 18th will be filled with events, panels, and workshops on the thorny subject of comprehensive immigration reform, complete with personal stories shared by undocumented UT students that emphasize why we must stand on the right stand of history. Our keynote event is the Undocu-Asian Teach-In.

I shared my story to urge the student assembly to pass AR 16, A Resolution to Support Undocumented Students and Undocumented Longhorns Week which recognizes the groundbreaking work immigrant youth in Texas have done to promote college access and community justice.

UT SG ultimately sent the resolution to the Legislative Affairs Committee, where it will be considered in three parts and a decision will be made on Tuesday, Oct. 15th. I urge you to pressure our student leaders to make the right choice.

Read more on the importance of supporting undocumented Longhorns after the jump.

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Redefining "Tolerance" Can't Make GOP Out To Be Victim In Marriage Discrimination


by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT

A new bill proposed by Republicans in Congress will give legal protections to individuals who morally object to marriage equality on the basis of "religious liberty."

Congressional Republicans and state Republicans in Texas have employed a scorched earth policy in the culture wars towards anything resembling a progressive agenda item by the Obama Administration, but in the wake of the apocalyptic rhetoric their harsh stance against marriage-equality threatens any chance to sway a crucial voting bloc -- Millennials.

This is a problem for Republicans for the same reason that Millennials are also the most highly-prized target for advertisers. Why? Because they are opinion makers and trendsetters, and they have the polls to prove it. A Pew Research tracking poll shows that millennials support marriage equality at a rate of 66% and growing, and that pattern of increased support was mimicked by prior generations. The poll also reveals that support for marriage equality is also growing with in the Republican Party and Independents are right in line with Democrats at 57%.

Find out below the jump how Republicans and others like the Heritage Foundation are attempting to redefine the word "tolerance"...

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Texas Rep. Michael McCaul Loses Top Spot For Wealthiest Congressman; Issa Surges Ahead


by: Edward Garris

Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:30 PM CDT

Anyone who calls Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas' 10th Congressional District the wealthiest member of Congress is a liar and a knave.  He's the second wealthiest, according to a report yesterday by The Hill.  According to the piece in The Hill and a related article on The Atlantic Wire, McCaul lost his top spot to now-infamous IRS witch hunter Rep. Darrell Issa of California.  However, the sting remains when the average household income in McCaul's district is a mere $58,080.

To his credit, McCaul is not necessarily responsible for his jaw-dropping wealth.  As The Atlantic Wire reported yesterday and Roll Call reported two years ago, the enormity of McCaul's wealth actually comes from his wife and her family.

To see how this conflicts with Republican rhetoric, read below the jump.

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Congressional Clown Steve Stockman Invites Obama Rodeo Clown to Texas


by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 00:00 AM CDT

Congressman Steve Stockman has invited a rodeo clown to perform in Texas who was banned from the Missouri State Fair for mocking the President in what many believe was a modern day minstrel show. Bad company is par for Stockman who invited Ted Nugent to give a response to the President's 2013 State of the Union speech after he told Obama to "suck on my machine gun."

In a press release Stockman referred to the act as a "harmless gag", and precisely outlined the strategy that the rightwing has used to vilify our president and turned it upside down saying, "Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear." It is no coincidence that targeting a man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear is exactly what happened that night. In the skit, which has drawn criticism from Republican and Democratic elected officials in Missouri, the announcer can be heard saying, "We're going to smoke Obama man", "We're gonna stomp Obama now," and "I know I'm a clown, he just run [sic] around acting like one [and] doesn't know he is one."

Hear reaction from Stockman's Democratic challenger below the jump...

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Democrat Michael Cole Will Challenge Congressman Steve Stockman in East Texas


by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:06 AM CDT

An East Texas Democrat has emerged as a challenger in TX-36 to Congressman Steve Stockman's antics on Capitol Hill. The 36th Congressional District is Southern-fried freedom loving country that stretches East from Pasadena through the pine curtain up to Jasper and also includes "Liberty County", the San Jacinto monument, and the Big Thicket National Preserve. The area isn't known for producing the most progressive candidates, but Democrats in the area are hoping for someone who won't make them the laughing Stock' (pun intended) of Congress.

Michael Cole, an educator for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville school district may be the man they are looking for. His passion for education and personal experience with our healthcare system (he is an amputee) give him the personal platform to run, but he also has a solid grasp on a surprising number of issues facing our current Congress. On Tuesday, he held a Q and A on Facebook with voters to answer questions ranging from his voting history to preserving Medicare and womens' rights. Even though the bar is set low for improving on the policy positions of Stockman, the queries from participants weren't exactly softballs.

Below the jump are some of the questions and answers from Tuesday night:

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Report: Texans Could Benefit Most from Obamacare, Ted Cruz Wants To Defund It


by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 00:12 PM CDT

The House GOP in Congress voted for the 40th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act, just 2 days after the Center for American Progress released a report showing which US counties would benefit most from the law. The study focused on the "30 counties that rank among the worst counties in the nation across five key factors among counties with population greater than 25,000." Embarrassingly Texas is home to 22 of those 30, and 18 of them are represented by the same Republicans who are trying to defund the very law that would help their constituents.

Many of the laws provisions, including barring insurance companies from dropping individuals for preexisting conditions, will take effect in 2014, and from Republicans' increasingly erratic behavior it seems they may be concerned Americans might like having access to healthcare. Sen. Ted Cruz put it another way, "The Obama administration's plan is very simple - to get as many Americans as possible addicted to the subsidies." Ted Cruz is going so far as threatening to partially shut down the government saying, "Any elected official who casts a vote for this continuing resolution that funds Obamacare is affirmatively voting to fund Obamacare," yet not all in his party agree this is a good idea...

Click below the jump to see why the "defund Obamacare" train could put Republicans on the wrong electoral track...

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