Quorum Report Daily Buzz

View By Date
Printable Version of This Page

July 23, 2021      8:23 PM

As special session stalemate drags on, Lt. Gov. Patrick makes overtures for compromise with House Democrats who have no reason to trust him

Just a mess: Patrick sounds worried about a Senate quorum break in a second special session; House Democrats in DC say they’d rather talk with Abbott, who has said the GOP shouldn’t negotiate with Democrats

The Texas House Democrats might be losing leverage – it’s hard to tell from day to day – but it does appear the group has dug in and is ready to reject any overture from Texas Senate Republicans who insist they have a nicer, gentler bill they are willing to adjust on elections.

The Senate’s “voter integrity” bill clearly is better than the House version, supporters argue. Beyond that, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and sponsor Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, have insisted the maneuvers of House Democrats are acts of desperation. Patrick and Hughes also say members of the minority party would be better off returning to negotiate with the Senate.

“You can always tell the side that's losing because it’s the side speaking the loudest and most emotional. And I think that’s what's happened since some Democrats went to Washington,” Patrick said during a Texas Capitol news conference Wednesday.

Patrick insists the tide is shifting.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Kimberly Reeves

Top of Page

July 23, 2021      7:55 PM

Sources: Gov. Abbott not returning calls from top Republicans in the Texas Legislature about UT trying to head to the SEC

Republicans like Chairman Dustin Burrows and Chair Brian Birdwell have filed bills to block UT from changing conferences, but of course that's not on the special session agenda. The governor's office has gone quiet

Top of Page

July 22, 2021      5:26 PM

Ahead of significant test of Texas electricity grid, PUC and ERCOT give assurances power will stay on across the state

“Our load expectation could reach an all-time high (next week). We’re projecting somewhere around 74,000 megawatt hours, and the current record is 74,820.”

The Texas Legislature passed all the legislation necessary to fix the reliability of the Texas electric grid that failed during Winter Storm Uri, PUC Chair Peter Lake told reporters during a news conference with ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones on Thursday.

The joint news conference was intended to update the media and the public ahead of what will be the hottest weeks of the summer, starting next week, when demand on the system is expected to hit new highs.

That doesn’t mean everything is fixed, but it does mean ERCOT has begun to map out strategies to shore up reserve power and not be caught unprepared.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Kimberly Reeves

Top of Page

July 22, 2021      2:10 PM

Associated Republicans of Texas unveils new set of Democratic Texas House target districts

After earlier in the year saying they intend to expand the GOP map into South Texas by targeting some specific Texas House districts in that region, the Associated Republicans of Texas on Thursday unveiled another group of districts held by Democrats they will attempt to win in 2022.

As part of their pitch, ART seized on the walkout by Democrats in DC working to block elections legislation from moving forward in Austin.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page

July 22, 2021      10:25 AM

Sen. Rand Paul endorses Don Huffines for Governor of Texas

“When other Republicans would say, ‘Wear a mask, stay inside. You must do this, you must do that,’ when other Republicans were siding with Dr. Fauci, it was Don Huffines who would stand up and say he will side for your freedom."

Top of Page

July 21, 2021      4:17 PM

Leading a small group of Texas House Democrats, Rep. Cortez says he will collaborate with GOP Rep. Murr on elections bill

GOP leadership promotes the fact that 92 House members are now at or near the Texas Capitol; 57 Democrats signed letters last week asking the Journal Clerk to lock their voting machines, that number now appears only down one to 56

Rep. Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio, on Wednesday announced that he had returned from Washington to “lead the reform effort on HB 3,” the Texas House version of the elections bill. That’s as GOP leadership promoted the fact that 92 members – from both parties – are now on or around the Texas House floor, 8 shy of a quorum.

GOP Caucus Chairman Jim Murphy earlier in the day had said there were 91 House members at the Texas Capitol. After that, QR reported that Rep. Leo Pacheco, D-San Antonio, was also back at the Capitol.

But it’s important to note that from the moment most members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus were wheels down in Washington last week, 57 of them had signed letters asking the House Journal Clerk to lock their voting machines.

That means the GOP leadership’s number for House attendance, even with Cortez back, tops out at 94.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page

July 21, 2021      2:56 PM

It appears Rep. Leo Pacheco has checked in with the House Journal Clerk

That would bring to 92 the unofficial attendance in the Texas House

Top of Page

July 21, 2021      2:28 PM

Rep. Murr says Rep. Cortez has returned from Washington and they are in talks about elections bill

Here is the statement from Rep. Andrew Murr:

"While he was in Washington, Rep. Cortez and I had very frank, candid discussions about the concerns he and his Democrat colleagues have with House Bill 3. Rep. Cortez is now back in Austin and we will continue to have serious, thoughtful conversations about House Bill 3. Phil Cortez and I will likely never see eye-to-eye on this election legislation, but he will have a seat at the table to fight for his district because he is willing to defend their beliefs in the chamber of the Texas House."

Top of Page

July 20, 2021      10:32 AM

With political lines up in the air ahead of redistricting, fundraising in legislative campaigns a bit anemic

Something amazing happened this past week: legislators managed to get their semiannual campaign finance reports in on time. Alternatively, of course, that could mean the Texas Ethics Commission is working lightning fast. It’s all relative.

Regardless, the July semiannual reports are in and y’all are clearly holding your checkbooks close.

With district lines up in the air, donors seem to be holding back on major giving. Rounding out the donor names are a who’s who of the lobby as well as members’ colleagues and friends. This list is a result of asking around, Scott and I making calls, and a compilation of top Democratic and Republican targets in 2022.

Let’s take a look at what we have so far, starting with Democrats in the Texas Senate.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By James Russell

Top of Page

July 20, 2021      8:49 AM

In DC, Rep. Michelle Beckley announces for Congress

Top of Page

July 19, 2021      7:00 PM

Sources say Rep. Matt Krause considering run for Attorney General

It's our understanding some conservatives have reached out to Krause to gauge his interest in running and he is strongly considering it

Top of Page

July 18, 2021      10:07 PM

Former State Rep. Toby Goodman of Arlington passed away

Served from 1991-2007, arrangements announced shortly

Top of Page

July 16, 2021      1:29 PM

Speaker Phelan raised $1 million, has $5 million cash on hand

Top of Page

July 16, 2021      12:47 PM

Sen. Whitmire announces for reelection

Top of Page

July 16, 2021      10:48 AM

People on the Move

A notable retirement, some lobby moves, staffer moves, and more

WASHINGTON – It turns out a stalemate is about as exciting as it sounds.

If anyone tries to tell you Texas House Democrats are having a party here in Washington, there isn’t even a bar in their hotel. Rep. Donna Howard took a little bit of flak for tweeting out a picture of her laundry in the hotel room and she apologized for distracting from the message: “This is serious work we're doing in DC bringing attn to ensuring the freedom to vote for all. I may be a human who makes mistakes, but there's no mistake that fair & equal access to the polls is the foundation of our democracy,” she said.

How long will this go on? Well, there’s absolutely no indication from the members here that any of them would break ranks anytime soon to return to Austin while Gov. Greg Abbott threatens another special session immediately starting August 8.

Back in Austin, Texas Senate Republicans are going through the motions of passing bills – going through the motions has become the norm anyway in the 5/9ths Senate – and the House GOP is praying and asking Democrats to come back to help retired teachers. Of course, those retired educators could use a boost after their 13th check died in the regular session.

Meantime, there’s career news to tell you about including a notable retirement, some lobby moves, staffer moves, and more. The best way to let the entire Texas Capitol community know what’s going on with you or a friend is to send the scoop to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line. Please and thank you.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move:

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

Top of Page