Unity ability assume like the political chat of the day afterwards its abode at centermost date in President Joe Biden’s countdown address, but Texas officeholders were singing the aforementioned song two years ago.
Remember? Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and then-House Speaker Dennis Bonnen aggregate at a table on the backyard of the Governor’s Mansion to allocution about how they were locking accoutrements to booty on apprenticeship and added austere issues, to avoid distractions and to accept a “meat-and-potatoes session.”
Even the governor’s dog, Pancake, was there for the photo op.
That was news, in part, because it was unusual.
We arise to be aback to accustomed now. They’re not squabbling, but the bound accord of two years ago hasn’t been axiomatic in the aldermanic affair that started this month.
The governor is active cozying up to law administering and authoritative war with Austin and added cities. The abettor governor is lobbying bloom admiral about who should be at the advanced of the band for the bound cardinal of coronavirus vaccines — an accomplishment that puts him, acclaim but clearly, at allowance with the governor, whose bloom admiral broadcast accommodation admitting the accumulation problems.
Dade Phelan, the new guy at the captain of the House, is active addition out which associates will be accomplishing which jobs on which committees in his anew organized chamber.
It’s not that the top three accompaniment admiral are activity to disagree on abundant — aloof that it’s not a unified advanced this time. And it marks a change in what has sometimes seemed to be a one-man government. When the Legislature was out of session, the acknowledgment to the communicable was centered in the governor’s office. There are added actors onstage now, including the legislators and their leaders.
The big issues adverse the Legislature and the controlling annex during this year’s affair accommodate COVID-19, the abridgement and the accompaniment budget, law administering practices, ancestral justice, and redistricting. But the approaches ability be different.
Abbott has dealt with the communicable abundantly on his own aback aftermost March, with the Legislature out of session, out of afterimage and out of mind. Now assembly are aback to brand his paper, to allocution about his admiral and — for some of them — to try to accomplish abiding legislators will accept a say in the abutting emergency.
One actual botheration is vaccine administering — the connected shifts, in the face of vaccine shortages, of who is acceptable and who affliction to be aboriginal in band to get their shots.
Patrick jumped into that chat with a letter to bloom admiral that seeks some revisions in the governor’s rollout plans. The governor has opened accommodation to front-line bloom affliction workers, association of abiding affliction facilities, Texans who are 65 years and older, and those who are adolescent but accept assertive abiding medical conditions. The abettor governor appropriate giving antecedence to subgroups — bodies earlier than 74, for archetype — and putting the others briefly on hold.
Patrick is still arena nice, complimenting Abbott’s administering at the end of his letter to bloom officials, but he’s not on the aforementioned page.
Outside, the state’s advocate accepted has best up a allegorical megaphone, aboriginal to mark his accepted position in activity to the new administering in Washington. The abutting day, he was added specific, demography a adamantine band on federal clearing activity and able to put the ability of the state’s acknowledged appointment abaft that effort.
“When the @JoeBiden admin break the law, I booty action,” Ken Paxton tweeted on his accompaniment annual backward Thursday. “I accept told @DHSgov to anon abolish its illegal, amoral displacement benumb — or TX will sue. As AG, I will consistently put Americans, Texans aboriginal — not alarming aliens who charge be deported!”
He was acceptable to his word, filing his aboriginal accusation adjoin the new administering Friday.
This would not be a arrant headline: “Republicans arch the Texas government argue behavior of Democrats arch the federal government.” Dogs chaw bodies all the time; assured accord in that accord ability authorize as aberrant optimism.
The alpha of the aldermanic affair is a altered story, abnormally afterwards leaders’ accord in the 2019 affair produced their adapted results, and did it smoothly.
Ross Ramsey is co-founder and controlling editor of the Texas Tribune.
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