Today's Fair Shots - June 9th, 2017

1-Bill Gutting Financial Reform Faces Long Odds in U.S. Senate

2-Mayor Turner Wants Houston to Sue to Stop 'Show Me Your Papers' Bill

3-Abbott Declares If Lawmakers Fail to Approve His Special Session Agenda, They Would Be 'Lazy'


1) Yesterday, the U.S. House passed a bill that guts the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other hallmarks of the Wall Street reform that took place after the near-depression of the U.S. economy under George W. Bush. The bill was engineered by U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas. 

The Dallas Morning News reports:

  Hensarling came into Congress as a disciple of former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, who led the way to repealing a long-standing law (the Glass-Stegall Act) that had effectively prevented banks and investment firms from making highly speculative and ultimately financially devastating moves. (That isn't a partisan statement, by the way; President Clinton signed that repeal.) President Obama, who worked to clean up Bush's economic mess, obtained a measure of push-back against the outlandish practices that resulted, obtaining some protection to the U.S. economy and investors. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, built a national political profile advocating for working people on this very issue.

  Today, the House approved the return toward "no holds barred" 233-186, almost exclusively along party lines. All Democrats opposed the bill; all but one Republican (U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina) backed it. 

  The Morning News suggests the measure's chances in the Senate, fortunately, are weak:

  The legislation is a decided long shot in the Senate, where some Democratic support is needed for passage. Sideshows continue to slow the GOP's agenda, as seen by the shadow cast Thursday by the blockbuster Senate committee hearing featuring fired FBI director James Comey.

  And critics are unrelenting in their charge that the bill, which covers everything from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to "too big to fail," would lead to another financial crisis.

  "This bill instates a business model that allows consumers to be taken advantage of without their knowledge," said Rep. Al Green, a Houston Democrat who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. And that was the business model that created the climate for the downturn in 2008."

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/banking/2017/06/08/house-passes-texas-republicans-years-long-push-repeal-obama-era-banking-rules

2) The largest city in Texas may soon join other cities in a developing lawsuit against SB 4, the "show me your papers" legislation. The Austin American-Statesman reports lawsuits are being consolidated in a federal court in San Antonio, though Attorney General Ken Paxton has tried preemptively to get the case assigned to an Austin court:

  If Houston's council members approve, Texas' largest city would join Austin, Dallas and San Antonio in challenging the law, which will take effect in September...

  Metropolitan police chiefs and Democrats fought hard against the measure, arguing it would make it harder to build trust with immigrant communities across the state. However, it was overwhelmingly passed by both houses and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott last month. 

  Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/houston-mayor-seeks-join-lawsuit-against-sanctuary-cities-ban/pNBKaleoTYdEdaRlz8DgLJ/

3) Ahead of the time when Gov. Greg Abbott called a do-over special session for July 18 on a kitchen sink of pet right-wing issues, he displayed serious disrespect for Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, calling her "Sanctuary Sally." He also suggested the city that is the seat of governance is "the People's Republic of Austin" and smells bad, unlike the "smell of freedom" in Bell County.

  That disrespect appears to extend to the Texas Legislature and especially the Texas House. Appearing on the Chad Hasty Show two days after refusing to take questions from the Capitol News Corps during a "news conference," Abbott ripped into lawmakers over their work ethic.

  As someone who has followed the Texas Legislature closely since 1984, I'm confident that if you keep up with the goings-on in a legislative session on a professional basis, you are exhausted at the end. I can only imagine how much stamina lawmakers who work through committee hearings and floor sessions need, all while keeping up with hundreds if not thousands of meetings, inquiries from constituents and other tasks of the job. Whether the House or Senate are debating on the floor or not, the work schedules of legislators are wall to wall, and for Abbott to suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.

  But here's what Abbott told host Hasty when asked if he would call multiple legislative sessions should the Legislature reject key portions of his agenda:

 "We don't need them to waste time by coming in at two o'clock in the afternoon and then adjourning at five o'clock in the afternoon. They need to come to Austin with their work hat on...Chad, they [have] plenty of time to get this done. If they don't get it done, it's because they're lazy, it's because they have the lack of will, the lack of desire to get this done, and the taxpayers of the state of Texas are not going to tolerate it."

  That is both a political threat and a mislead. The bad ideas that Abbott has put on repeat cycle didn't die because legislators are "lazy." They died because they lacked merit or could not produce good-faith compromises in 140 days.

  That wasn't all. Listen to more of what Abbott won't tell the media who actually cover him from day to day at KFYO's web site: http://kfyo.com/abbott-straus-priorities-differed-from-my-special-session-priorities-interview/?trackback=tsmclip