Facebook > Email > More Pinterest Print Twitter Play

Four Texas Democrats Vote Against House Bill Offering Tax Breaks to Harvey Victims

Texas’s Democratic delegation previously acted as a united front in response to the storm. So why the change?

By Comments

People make their way out of a flooded Houston neighborhood after it was inundated with rainwater following Hurricane Harvey.
Scott Olson/Getty

This week, the U.S. House passed a bill that would grant Harvey victims some relief via tax breaks. Although most of the Texas delegation voted in favor of its passage, four Texas Democrats broke from the ranks and voted against the bill. U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and Marc Veasey of Fort Worth—four of the biggest-name Texas Democrats in Congress—all voted against the bill. According to the Texas Tribune, no Texas Republicans voted against the bill, which passed 264-155.

This isn’t the first time Texas Congressmen have voted “no” on a piece of federal legislation aimed at helping Texans. Earlier this month, four Texas Republicans—U.S. Representatives Joe Barton of Ennis, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Sam Johnson of Richardson, and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon—voted against a $15 billion Harvey aid package. All four voted for the tax break bill this time around, with the exception of Johnson, who did not vote. U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Dallas, also did not participate in the vote on Thursday.

Thursday’s bill, which also affects victims impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, brings tax relief by allowing flood victims to pull money for storm-related expenses from their 401(k) or other retirement accounts without facing tax penalties. It also makes it easier to write off property losses caused by the storm, gives tax credits to businesses hiring in disaster areas, and lifts limits on charitable tax deductions for hurricane-related donations, among other measures, according to the Dallas Morning News. But the tax relief was bundled with other unrelated measures, like the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and funding for a Native American diabetes program.

So, why did these Democrats vote against it? According to the Tribune, some of them wanted the tax breaks to include other natural disasters, thought there were too few hearings on the bill, or were upset that it wasn’t tied to a measure extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As the Tribune notes, Texas’s Democratic delegation has “presented itself as a united front in dealing with the storm,” so the four “no” votes is a noticeable break.

The author of the bill, Republican U.S. Representative Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, was unhappy with his nay-voting colleagues in Congress, calling the Democrats who voted against the bill “the very worst of Washington,” and accusing them of “putting politics ahead of people,” according to the Tribune. He followed up with an angry tweet:

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump, and will go into effect if he signs it.

Related Content

  • WUSRPH

    It is a shame that four Texas Democratic Congress members were unable to vote for the tax relief for Harvey victims….but there is a qualitative difference between voting against tax cuts and opposing providing ANY AID at all as the four Texas GOP reps did…

    PS Isn’t it nice to have the federal government dig gov. Abbott out of the hole has digging himself over his clearly false claim that Houston had all the money it could possibly need to pay for the Harvey cleanup? You would hope that Abbott felt a little sheepish handing out federal money after all his attacks on the federal govt. and his explicit demand that its spending be limited only to that specifically authorized in Sec. 8 of Art. II of the U.S Constitution (which would ban the checks he is so gleefully handing out) but I guess he can live with it when it helps him avoid his duty and responsibilities as governor. He’s just fortunate that his beloved constitutional convention hasn’t met yet and deprived him of the opportunity to look like he’s doing something,

    • WUSRPH

      CORRECTION: It appears that the $50 million Abbott came up with after Houston proved his claims about them having millions to spend without any aid were totally false, may be STATE DOLLARS……The man must really have been desperate to change the subject to spend any non-federal dollars.

  • WUSRPH

    http://tinyurl.com/y98o43gf

    An excellent piece from The National Review about Roy Moore and the impact of politicizing our entertainment……

    It is worth your time.

    • WUSRPH

      Speaking of Trump, the school supt. in Louisiana and anyone else who wants to force a belief or a practice on others….Most of us thought that was settled in 1940.

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/319/624

    • SpiritofPearl

      I’ve read for years that the GOP will wither away, existing only in the states of the former Confederacy. Are we witnessing the Twilight of the Gods?

      • WUSRPH

        It is almost nice to see them turn on themselves…..but the outcome for the county may still be disastrous.

        http://tinyurl.com/yazg3e5d

        • SpiritofPearl

          A house divided cannot stand. What comes next is critical.

      • anonyfool

        There’s plenty of idiots living in rural areas across the country to keep the GOP alive for a long time. There was a confederate flag flying self proclaimed southern belle interviewed on the radio in rural New York this morning, her husband claimed everyone was treated equally in the justice system and that whites should be able to say the n word with impunity and when he flies the confederate flag, it’s not because he’s in favor of slavery, just everything else he likes about loser traitors.

        • SpiritofPearl

          Eventually they will dwindle away. I hope to live long enough.

          • WUSRPH

            I think someone has been predicting the “perfectibility” or even just the “improvement” of humans since the first two of them go together to try and figure out what was wrong with “that other guy”. The work required to be rational is too hard for too many people to attempt. It is so much easier to live wrapped in myths……Jefferson was naïve enough to think that educating all the populace would be sufficient to protect the Republic from the likes of Trump and Roy Moore…..but that clearly did not work…..We are fortunate that Madison and other Founders built a whole series of protections against the “momentary passions of the mob” and/or the authoritarianism of a Trump or Moore into the constitution…We just have to hope that those walls can withstand them….

          • Jed

            it’s been 150 years already and no sign of “dwindling.” these particular racists may die, but they keep breeding.

          • SpiritofPearl

            They’ve changed over time.

  • WUSRPH

    One last question:
    Do you think that Trump would have given a you-know-what about Price’s traveling expenses (much less the $300,000 it cost the taxpayers so the little Trumpets could take a vacation trip) if Price had been able to deliver the Trump Health Care Plan? He was picked for the job because he was supposed to be THE GOP EXPERT on health care in the Congress but produced nada…In fact, his name was almost unheard of during all the GOP”s failures to “repeal and replace”.

  • BCinBCS

    …Republican U.S. Representative Kevin Brady of The Woodlands… accusing them
    of “putting politics ahead of people…

    Hypocrisy abounds.
    Man, he’s got some huevos.

    • MaryKBennett

      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !sn194d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleHomeCashJobsBrandsOpportunity/earn/hourly ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!sn194l..,…

  • ardvaark1965

    Something is fishy; 264-155? What about the other 151 who voted against it? Does that not mean 151 voted against the bill?

  • John Bernard Books

    While the “self appointed expert” bloviates about Viet Nam here is what a real expert said….
    “All the prime actors here exhibit that hubris, whether it was the communist leaders who believed that a Leninist state would bring prosperity (really? how about stability instead of prosperity?) to their people, or American presidents who thought their bombs and troops would bring the other side constructively to the negotiating table, or demonstrators who thought civil unrest would end a war and save lives. And what about reporters who felt it necessary to disseminate facts without context, or academics who even today feel that overlooking and distorting untruths buried in the history they teach will better enable us to mature as constructive citizens?”

    What if Mayor Daley hadn’t awarded Kennedy the “tombstone vote”?
    “The ironies abound in this chronology. Had Mayor Daley not awarded Kennedy the “tombstone vote,” JFK might have lived to become president after a two-term Nixon presidency during which there would be no disastrous Harriman Geneva Agreement providing the North Vietnamese communists with a transit corridor from North to South. A winning vote for Barry Goldwater might have resulted in a wider war, but we got that anyway when he was defeated, in part, by the “Daisy” political ad. While civil rights, voting rights, and even Medicare were positive developments in Johnson’s Great Society, the War on Poverty was a costlier and a more destructive force in our society than the Vietnam War. Protests enabled an enemy to hope for victory despite military failures like Tet and the Easter Offensive, resulting in eventual enslavement for millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians.”
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/09/the_tragedy_of_the_pbsken_burns_version_of_the_vietnam_war.html#.Wc63la3WPDY.facebook

    so ask yourself the question…what would have happened if democrats hadn’t cheated in 1960? We’ll never know…..but what we do know is the low information vote will do whatever dems tell them to do.

    • SocraticGadfly

      Republicans cheated too. In places like downstate Illinois. One reason the Tricky Dick Republican who abandoned Vietnam later didn’t ask for a recount.

      Like the typical wingnut, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel with you.

      • John Bernard Books

        “tombstone vote” any idea what it means?

        • SocraticGadfly

          Many GOP tombstones voted in southern Illinois.

          I can explain it, but I can’t make you understand it.

          It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

          • WUSRPH

            The best explanation of why Nixon and the GOP tombstones did not prevail in Illinois in 1960 I have seen says that they were outwaited by Mayor Daley……According to the story they waited and waited for Daley to file the results for Chicago so that they would then know how many gravestones they had to count to carry the state BUT he kept citing on the results….so, early in the morning and being pressed by Nixon’s National HQ for results, they gave up on waiting for Daley and made the best estimate could and filed their returns but they had guessed too few, Today we have to wonder how the history of the world might have been changed had they had just a little more patience.

          • SocraticGadfly

            Oh, I’m about ready to block him, too.

            Yes, Illinois 1960 was the discussion. I have no doubt both sides cheated.

          • John Bernard Books

            You won’t block me I’m the only one who responds to your crazy azz….even if its to make fun of you.

          • John Bernard Books

            Tombstone vote….hahaha

  • WUSRPH

    I suppose you saw the article about how the Harris County Commissioners Court is talking about considering maybe someday some possible perhaps controls on development is areas likely to flood and even perhaps, maybe, possibly some requirements for limiting impervious cover and all those known communistic type controls on “what a man can do on his own land”? My god, if the get away with this next thing they will be doing is telling Gov. Abbott that he cannot cut down “HIS” tree.
    Seriously, if is good news BUT who wants to make me a bet that, if they do, it is immediately challenged in court and, when it reaches the Texas Supreme Court, that court will strike down or severely limit them?

  • WUSRPH

    You might to wander over to the Texas Tribune and read the piece on Ted Cruz making the rounds of the extreme radical right wing groups trying to convince them he is still the guy they should love…..

  • John Bernard Books

    Turns out Mayor Cruz of San Juan is a HhhhhhhUuuuuuuGgggggEeeeee
    Hillary supporter….hahaha where do they find these bozos….

    • SocraticGadfly

      They look under your bed and in your closet, a breeding ground for bozos! #VoteGreen for real change.

      • John Bernard Books

        hahaha…where are you in Vegas?

  • John Bernard Books

    Watch the PBS series about Viet Nam. Watch how dems lied to the Vietnamese people. We promised to support them in their fight for independence and the democrat congress abandoned them fiscally and left them to die……a horrible death.
    Time to face facts…democrats are communists and want America to fail.

    • SocraticGadfly

      BOTH major parties have lied about wars a-plenty. As Smedley Butler knew, war is a racket.

      As for “abandoning” Vietnam? When did Tricky Dick, with his Vietnamization, become a Democrat? Now that I know how bald-faced your lies are …

      • John Bernard Books

        Prez Ford requested $300 million in aid to Nam and dems in congress denied it. I can explain it I just can’t understand it for you.

        • SocraticGadfly

          Ford isn’t Nixon. I can explain it, I just can’t understand it for you. Tricky Dick abandoned Vietnam long before the Ford bill.

          Oh, a notable number of Congressional GOP voted against the Ford bill, too:

          https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal75-1214000#315

          Like shooting fish in a barrel …

          • John Bernard Books

            It must be hard to be this dense. Dems in congress did not fund aid to Nam. Dems abandoned Nam.

  • WUSRPH

    Two notes on the shootings:
    Can someone explain to me why someone NEEDS a military quality automatic weapon or even a semi-automatic weapon? What practical real world need does it serve other than perhaps a little sexual titillation?

    Although what happened in Las Vegas is more than horrible, at least when they talk about mass shooting in the future (and shamefully they will)….Austin, Whitman and the UT Tower will no longer be the one they cite as
    the worst.

    • BCinBCS

      Oh come on, W…

      You know that military style weapons are needed for when the U.S. government comes to take away our freedoms and the populace must rise up Red Dawn style to oppose the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard who support that oppressive government.

    • SpiritofPearl

      These men – and they’re almost always men – have fear, nameless, faceless fear.