Texas Republicans are looking for senior positions in the U.S. House — even if it means running against one another.
In the upcoming election for chairman of the Republican Study Committee, made up of the most conservative members, Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, is mounting a last-minute stand against Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler.
The committee is not part of the official GOP leadership but does influence policy. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was previously the RSC chairman.
Hensarling continues to support Mulvaney, who insiders say has the edge. Flores entered the race in late summer after other candidates dropped out for personal reasons. The Hill, a publication that covers Congress, said Gohmert is “not seen as a serious contender.”
Never miss a local story.
Flores is determined, said press secretary Andre Castro, and has been working hard to line up votes from members of 114th Congress, which begins in January.
The RSC has about 155 returning members after the November elections. And there are at least 41 GOP freshmen (several races are undecided), including three Texans — Will Hurd of San Antonio; John Ratcliffe of Rockwall; and Brian Babin of Woodville.
Now that the election is in the rearview mirror, Dallas dentist David Alameel — the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nominee who lost by double digits to Sen. John Cornyn — is looking toward the next big race.
He recently sent an email to supporters, vowing to continue on in 2018.
“This is just the beginning for David Alameel for U.S. Senate,” he said. “We knew going in that it’s going to be an uphill battle. But we also knew that we’re in this for the long haul.
“Our journey to victory continues! 2018 is just around the corner and we have a lot of work to do.”
Alameel also noted that he didn’t get much help from his own party this year.
“When I first announced that I was interested in running for the U.S. Senate, our party headquarters in Austin flat-out told me not to run,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, caused a flurry of excitement last week when remarks he made at the end of a TV interview exploded.
It sounded as if Barton was saying President Barack Obama should be impeached if he issues an executive order that extends protection to more illegal immigrants. The president has already issued an executive order that protects young illegal immigrants brought into the U.S. as children — so-called Dreamers — from deportation.
“Well, impeachment is indicting in the House, and that’s a possibility,” Barton said on NewsmaxTV, a conservative outlet. “But you still have to convict in the Senate, and that takes a two-thirds vote. But impeachment would be a consideration, yes sir.”
Barton spokesman Sean Brown told the Star-Telegram that the remarks “were taken out of context.”
“They were part of a lengthy 12-minute, two-segment interview,” Brown said. “At the very end, Rep. Barton was asked a direct but hypothetical question about the possibility of impeachment. He then told the audience how the legislative process works.
“He said it might be a ‘consideration’ or ‘possibility’ but never said he would push for it and, in fact, outlined the reasons why it wasn’t even practical. During the first portion of the interview, the congressman reiterated that he was willing to work with the president and said he was for immigration reform that included common-sense compromise.”