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Texas Congressional Delegation Grows, Other Changes Pending

- Eye on Broadcasters’ Key Committees, Sohn Nomination

The 2022 midterm elections marked the addition of two representatives to the state’s existing 38-member congressional delegation. While a few new faces are on track to DC, there’s little meaningful change to divine from the results at this point when it comes to which Texans might be serving on the committees with jurisdiction over broadcasters’ interests.

Neither of the state’s Senate seats was up for election, so all the changes will happen on the House side, assuming control of the lower chamber flips to the Republicans as appears likely – and potentially at the FCC. 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee had the Republicans regained control of the Senate. Their failure to do so may also put Gigi Sohn on a glide path to final confirmation to the FCC, possibly in the final months of 2022.

Sohn’s nomination has been pending for more than a year in the face of deep opposition from some of the industries regulated by the agency.

Key House Committees

The two committees in the House with primary oversight for broadcasters are the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce committees.

Currently, Texas has five representatives on the House Judiciary Committee, including Democrats Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia of Houston, and Victoria Escobar of El Paso, and Republicans Louie Gohmert of Tyler and Chip Roy of Wimberley.  

Only Gohmert, who chose not to run for re-election, isn’t returning – creating a vacancy that won’t necessarily be filled by another Texan.

Four others serving on the House Energy & Commerce Committee are returning, including Democrats Lizzie Fletcher of Houston and Marc Veasey of Dallas, and Republicans Michael Burgess of Dallas and Dan Crenshaw of Houston.

Texas’ Congressional Freshmen

Texas’ seven 2023 congressional freshmen hail from Central, East, North, South, and Southeast Texas and include two Democrats and five Republicans:

  • Greg Casar, D-Austin, elected to a redrawn district stretching from Austin to San Antonio
  • Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, succeeding retiring Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  • Monica De La Cruz, R-McAllen, elected to a district stretching from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio previously held by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, who switched to a different district for his successful re-election race
  • Wesley Hunt, R-Houston, elected to the new 38th Congressional District in the northwest Houston area
  • Morgan Luttrell, R-The Woodlands, succeeding retiring Rep. Kevin Brady
  • Nathaniel Moran, R-Tyler, succeeding retiring Rep. Louie Gohmert
  • Keith Self, R-Greenville, succeeding Rep. Van Taylor who lost the Republican primary to Self

All but De La Cruz have some form of experience in public service. Casar served on the Austin City Council and Crockett served one term in the Texas House of Representatives, while Moran served as Smith County Judge and Self served as Collin County Judge. Both Hunt and Luttrell are military veterans.  Hunt served in the Army and Luttrell is a former Navy SEAL.

They’ll be sworn into office on Jan. 3.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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