“Bloodletting” in the Texas Senate
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At least that’s what Sen. Royce West predicted when grim-faced senators emerged from their 1 hour caucus behind the closed door of the Betty King room. He was followed by John Whitmire, who was shaking his head angrily. Paul and I think we saw steam coming out of his ears. Paul reports what House members are saying about the fracas: “Since when are we supposed to be the grownups around here?” The Senate contention could become viral as Jim Dunnam has reportedly suggested that the House change its rules and require a three-fifths vote for passage of the bill. With 74 Democrats in the House, there’s serious doubt whether the bill would pass the House. I asked Sen. Kevin Eltife, “Who’s behind this?” He summoned his most earnest voice and said, “You know, I’m not really sure.” Then he dissolved in uncontrollable snickers. “You are a terrible liar,” I told him. “That’s what my wife says,” Eltife acknowledged. The issue, everyone agrees, is not the two-thirds rule, but passage of the Voter ID bill. Redistricting, which was part of yesterday’s discussion, is now out of the mix. It has been noted this morning that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst ran commercials during the last election cycle on the need for passing a Voter ID bill. But, of course, Dewhurst told the press yesterday that he would not interfere in the rules adoption– a job he believes should be handled by the 31 senators. So it couldn’t be him. Could it?