Texas

Report: Farenthold Tried to Steer Contract to Businessman Who Later Got Him Lucrative Job
Disgraced congressman complained of ‘f-tards’ who drove him out of office amid #metoo scandal

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, continues to attract controversy months after he resigned in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Blake Farenthold, who resigned from Congress in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal, tried to steer a federal contract to a business owned by the chairman of a Texas port authority who donated almost $20,000 to his campaign and later gave him a job, according to a local newspaper investigation published Monday. 

The Calhoun Port Authority’s secret decision to award Farenthold that  $13,333-a-month lobbying gig shortly after his May ouster from Congress has sparked local controversy and is at the center of a lawsuit filed by The Victoria Advocate. 

Do Debt and Deficits Matter? It Depends on Who's Minding U.S. Fiscal Policy: Podcast
CQ on Congress, Episode 116

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, sits in front of books of the U.S. tax code, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans' tax reform plan in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Budget Office recently revised its earlier, already dire warning that the national debt will be 150 percent larger than the entire U.S. economy within 30 years — and GOP budget and tax proposals could make a bad situation much worse.

CQ News editors Patrick B. Pexton and Pete Cohn discuss the political landscape of debt and deficits heading into what could be a fateful midterm election.

Senate Busies Itself, Plus Chuck Norris and Some Cactus
The one-day work week is something we can all get behind

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday for the final vote of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Senate convened around noon on Wednesday. The Senate adjourned around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday. Now THAT is a work week!

Weekend Work for the Senate? The Bluff That Won’t Go Away
Upon Wednesday return, a quickly defused musing of weekend work

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., seen here walking by a nonfunctioning elevator in the basement of the Capitol, and other senators returned from recess on Wednesday and were hit promptly with a threat of weekend work, which fizzled quickly. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators returned to Washington on Wednesday and scarcely had time to head to lunch before their leaders unsheathed the threat of weekend work, an oldie but goodie bluff that was taken off the table before dinner time. 

Returning around noon from a two-week recess that was to stand in for the traditional month-long state work period, the chamber’s official order of business was considering the nominations of two judges to be on the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals: First A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr., then  Julius Ness Richardson. The plan all along has been to confirm those two South Carolinians, then turn to a two bill appropriations package consisting of the Defense and Labor-HHS measures, at some point. 

Summer Reading, Lawmaker-Style
What members of Congress have been reading — and you can, too!

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., holds up his copy of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in his Cannon Building office in July 2011. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Looking for a summer read? HOH has been asking lawmakers for months about the last book they read, and their choices have ranged from historical dives to books about their issues or districts.

Here are some of the interesting titles recommended by members of Congress.

For Former Felons, Voting Rights Could Be a Click Away
Website aims to help millions of new voters register

A new website launched by an organization dedicated to voting rights could to help former felons navigate confusing voting laws in states like Alabama, where December’s special Senate election was decided by 20,000 ballots. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Millions of new voters could register across the country, starting Tuesday, with the launch of an online tool meant to help former felons restore their right to vote.

The Campaign Legal Center’s website, restoreyourvote.org, attempts to guide users through a sometimes confusing jumble of state laws to determine whether past convictions or unpaid fines would keep them from the ballot box.

Democratic Poll Shows Close Race for Pete Sessions’ Seat in Texas
GOP congressman faces Democrat Colin Allred in Dallas-area district

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing Democrat Colin Allred in November. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions’ re-election race is looking increasingly competitive, with Democrat Colin Allred polling close to the longtime Republican lawmaker, according to a new internal Democratic survey.

The Dallas-area 32nd District is traditionally GOP territory. But this year’s race is considered competitive, in part because the 32nd is one of three Republican-held districts in the Lone Star State that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up

House GOP Appropriators Facing Steep Turnover in 116th Congress
Both parties have endured upheaval in wave elections in the past

Two senior House GOP appropriators,  John Culberson, R-Texas, left, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., personify the challenged facing the Appropriations panel heading into the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic “wave” this November, should one materialize, could result in the departure of as many as five senior House Republican appropriators, which would mark the biggest wipeout of major players from one side of the dais in 26 years.

Three subcommittee “cardinals” are facing tough re-election fights this November: Commerce-Justice-Science Chairman John Culberson and Military Construction-VA Chairman John Carter, both of Texas, and Homeland Security Chairman Kevin Yoder of Kansas.

Beto O’Rourke Drops $1.27 Million in Ads
Ads will play in all 20 of Texas’ media markets.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, (right), shown here with Rep. Scott Peters, D- Calif., is going on the offensive with an ad campaign after a fundraising blitz. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke went on the offensive against Sen. Ted Cruz after a fundraising blitz, dropping $1.27 million worth in ads against his opponent.

The Democrat’s campaign said it would play ads in all 20 of Texas’ media market.

Kavanaugh Hearing Date Set for September 4 in Senate
Republicans want a floor vote on Trump’s pick by the midterms

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 4:19 p.m. | The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a three- or four- day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh starting Sept. 4, Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, announced on Friday.

That means the marathon hearing will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day.