Two-thirds rule

Two Thirds? Or Not Two Thirds?

Jun 27, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

With another special session set to begin on July 1, the issue arises of how the Senate will handle the two-thirds rule. Will there be a blocker bill? Will the tradition be honored? The history is that in 2003, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst made the decision that the two-thirds rule…

The future of the 2/3 rule

Jan 17, 2009 By Paul Burka

Ever since Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst wired around the 2/3 rule to pass congressional redistricting in 2003, I have believed that the rule cannot survive in the partisan era. It may still have some life in issues that don’t have partisan overtones, but the maneuvering on the Voter I.D. bill indicates…

One Senate rule clearly in effect

Jan 14, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

That would be the “Pottery Barn” rule as invoked by Secretary of State Colin Powell to warn against the then-proposed invasion of Iraq. “You break it, you own it,” he reasoned. This morning, Dewhurst told reporters that he mentioned the Powell axiom to senators who wanted to change the two-thirds…

Williams claims precedent for rules change

Jan 14, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Sen. Tommy Williams assures the Senate that he believes the two-thirds rule “is a good thing. I have been a House member who lost his entire package in Calendars Committee. It would be a travesty if we went to that method.” Then he recounted the “ugly scene” that occurred last…

Van de Putte on a matter of personal privilege

Jan 14, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte:  “I am often asked why doesn’t the Senate fight like the House. I usually reply we don’t often fight or argue because we genuinely like each other. We believe in… diplomacy and compromise. This is what is best for Texas and its citizens.” “We don’t…

The Senate’s conundrum

Jan 14, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

What rules govern when the Senate is debating what rules govern? That’s Sen. Eliot Shapleigh’s question to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. This debate has slowed down Sen. Tommy William’s resolution, which would change Senate rules to suspend the two-thirds rule for the Voter ID bill. Dewhurst’s answer was a little…

“Bloodletting” in the Texas Senate

Jan 14, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

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.