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Difference between revisions of "Filemon Vela"

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Revision as of 21:45, 31 October 2013

Filemon Vela
Filemon vela.jpg
U.S. House, Texas, District 34
Incumbent
Assumes office
January 3, 2013
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 1
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorN/A
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Cost per vote$8.62 in 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$876,684
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sGeorgetown University
J.D.University of Texas
Personal
BirthdayFebruary 13, 1963
Place of birthHarlingen, Texas
ProfessionLawyer
Net worth$8,600,004
ReligionCatholic
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Filemon Vela (b. February 13, 1963, in Harlingen, Texas) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing the 34th Congressional District of Texas. He was first elected on November 6, 2012. He defeated Jessica Puente Bradshaw (D) and Steven Shanklin (L) in the general election on November 6.[1]

Vela is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Vela is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.

Biography

Vela was born in Harlingen, Texas. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from University of Texas. He worked as an attorney since his graduation. He once considered running for Congress in the 1980s but his clients kept his focus until he decided to run in 2011.[2]

Career

  • 1988-2012: Practicing lawyer[2]
  • 2013-present: U.S. House of Representatives from Texas

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Vela serves on the following committees:[3]

Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[4] For more information pertaining to Vela's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

National Defense Authorization Act

Voted "Yes" Vela voted for HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[6]

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations

Voted "No" Vela voted against HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.[7]

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Voted "Yes" Vela voted for HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.[8]

Economy

Federal Statutory Pay Adjustment Elimination

Voted "Yes" Vela voted for HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years. Vela was 1 of 44 Democrats who supported the bill, while 144 voted against it.[9]

Immigration

Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition

Voted "No" Vela voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[10] The vote largely followed party lines.[11]

Healthcare

Health Care Reform Rules

Voted "Yes" Vela voted for House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[12]

Social issues

Abortion

Voted "No" Vela voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[13]

Elections

2014

See also: Texas' 34th congressional district elections, 2014

Vela is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If he runs, he will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election on March 4, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

2012

See also: Texas' 34th congressional district elections, 2012

Vela won election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Texas' 34th District. He and Denise Saenz Blanchard defeated Elmo Aycock, Ramiro Garza, Jr., Juan Angel Guerra, Salomon Torres, Anthony Troiani and Armando Villalobos in the Democratic primary on May 29, 2012. He then defeated Blanchard in the July 31 runoff election. He went on to defeat Jessica Puente Bradshaw (D) and Steven Shanklin (L) in the general election on November 6.[14][15][16]

U.S. House, Texas District 34 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngFilemon Vela 61.9% 89,606
     Republican Jessica Puente Bradshaw 36.2% 52,448
     Libertarian Steven Shanklin 1.9% 2,724
Total Votes 144,778
Source: Texas Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


U.S. House, Texas District 34 Runoff Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngFilemon Vela 66.6% 15,628
Denise Saenz Blanchard 33.4% 7,824
Total Votes 23,452

[17]

U.S. House, Texas District 34 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngFilemon Vela 40.5% 18,233
Green check mark transparent.pngDenise Saenz Blanchard 12.9% 5,810
Ramiro Garza, Jr. 12.4% 5,575
Salomon Torres 10.5% 4,745
Armando Villalobos 8.7% 3,926
Anthony Troiani 8.1% 3,638
Juan Angel Guerra 4.9% 2,200
Elmo Aycock 2.1% 935
Total Votes 45,062

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Vela is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Vela raised a total of $876,684 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[18]

Filemon Vela's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Texas, District 34) Won $876,684
Grand Total Raised $876,684

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Vela's reports.[19]

Filemon Vela (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[20]April 15, 2013$104,586.45$38,539.16$(75,312.67)$67,812.94
July Quarterly[21]July 15, 2013$67,812.94$103,275.00$(37,576.29)$133,511.65
October Quarterly[22]October 15, 2013$133,511.65$121,255.07$(162,554.49)$92,212.23
Running totals
$263,069.23$(275,443.45)

2012

Breakdown of the source of Vela's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Vela won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Vela's campaign committee raised a total of $876,684 and spent $772,098.[23] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[24]

Cost per vote

Vela spent $8.62 per vote received in 2012.

Analysis

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[25]

Vela most often votes with:

Vela least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Vela missed 1 of 89 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.1%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[26]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Vela's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,254,014 to $15,945,995. That averages to $8,600,004, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2011 of $5,107,874.[27]

Voting with party

2013

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Vela has voted with the Democratic Party 91.1% of the time. This ranked 168th among the 201 House Democrats as of June 2013.[28]

Personal

Vela is married to his wife, Rose.[2]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Filemon + Vela + Texas + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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External links

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References

  1. Politico "2012 Election Map, Texas"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 National Journal "Texas, 34th House District: Filemon Vela (D)," November 6, 2012
  3. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  7. Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  8. Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  9. Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  10. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  12. Project Votesmart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  14. Democratic candidate list
  15. Unofficial Democratic primary results
  16. Associated Press primary runoff results
  17. Texas Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report-2012 Democratic Party Primary Runoff," accessed August 30, 2012
  18. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Filemon Vela," Accessed March 25, 2013
  19. Federal Election Commission "Filemon Vela Summary Report," Accessed July 24, 2013
  20. Federal Election Commission "Filemon Vela April Quarterly," Accessed July 24, 2013
  21. Federal Election Commission "Filemon Vela July Quarterly," Accessed July 24, 2013
  22. Federal Election Commission "Filemon Vela October Quarterly," Accessed October 22, 2013
  23. Open Secrets "Filemon Vela 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed March 5, 2013
  24. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  25. OpenCongress, "Filemon Vela," Accessed August 2, 2013
  26. GovTrack, "Filemon Vela," Accessed April 2, 2013
  27. OpenSecrets.org "Filemon Vela (D-Texas), 2011," accessed February 22, 2013
  28. OpenCongress "Voting With Party," Accessed June 4, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Newly created district
U.S. House - Texas, District 34
2013-present
Succeeded by
'