Texas' GOP lawmakers ready to do battle with Obama

Cal Jillson, political scientist at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, talks about Texas lawmakers partisan divisions.

By Richard S. Dunham and Gary Martin

WASHINGTON — It's a tough time to be a Texas congressman.
The Lone Star State has sent more Republicans to Capitol Hill than any other state — 26 — at a time when Barack Obama remains in the White House and Democrats control the Senate.
“With the presidency and Senate in Democratic hands, 2013 will not be a year of substantial conservative public policy gains,” said Mark Jones, chairman of the political science department at Rice University. “The Texas GOP delegation will instead be involved in a rear-guard effort to prevent further Democratic and liberal policy advances while at the same time working to chip away at past Democratic policy successes.”
As Texas lawmakers gear up for the 2013 session of Congress, they are divided into distinctly partisan camps. Every member of the state's dominant Republican bloc was elected on the pledge to repeal the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare, a promise that can't be kept after Obama's Electoral College landslide.
Texas Republicans are demanding deep federal spending cuts with no additional tax revenue — nonstarters at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And Texas will be the epicenter of congressional opposition to Obama's highly anticipated gun proposals.
Texas Democrats, mired in minority status in the House, lament that their GOP colleagues aren't willing to compromise on most major issues....

“Texas has the largest Republican delegation in the House and they hold a number of important leadership positions and committee chairmanships, including Jeb Hensarling (of Dallas) at Financial Services and Pete Sessions (of Dallas) at Rules,” notes Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson. “That said, the Texas delegation does not have the dominant position it did in Congress during the halcyon days of Rayburn and LBJ, or even in the 1980s when Jim Wright was speaker or the 1990s when Dick Armey and Tom DeLay held sway.”

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