Difference between revisions of "Filemon Vela"

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==Biography==
 
==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 has 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.<ref name="nj">[http://nationaljournal.com/congress-legacy/texas-34th-house-district-20121102 ''National Journal'' "Texas, 34th House District: Filemon Vela (D)," November 6, 2012]</ref>
+
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 has 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.<ref name="nj">[http://nationaljournal.com/congress-legacy/texas-34th-house-district-20121102 ''National Journal'', "Texas, 34th House District: Filemon Vela (D)," November 6, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==Career==
 
==Career==

Revision as of 13:32, 7 April 2014

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 primaryMarch 4, 2014
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$4,397,011
ReligionCatholic
Websites
Office 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 running 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 has 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

NDAA

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]

DHS 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]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Vela voted for HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). 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

Farm bill

Voted "Yes" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[9] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[10][11] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[11] Vela voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Vela joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[15] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[16] Vela voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[17]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[18] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Vela voted for HR 2775.[19]

Federal Pay Adjustment Act

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.[20]

Immigration

Morton Memos 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.[21] The vote largely followed party lines.[22]

Healthcare

Healthcare 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.[23]

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.[24]

Elections

2014

See also: Texas' 34th Congressional District elections, 2014

Vela is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He won the Democratic nomination in the primary election on March 4, 2014, with no opposition. He will face Larry Smith (Texas) (R) in the general election on 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.[25] 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.[26][27][28]

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
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.[29]

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.[30]

Filemon Vela (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[31]April 15, 2013$104,586.45$38,539.16$(75,312.67)$67,812.94
July Quarterly[32]July 15, 2013$67,812.94$103,275.00$(37,576.29)$133,511.65
October Quarterly[33]October 15, 2013$133,511.65$121,255.07$(162,554.49)$92,212.23
Year-End[34]January 31, 2014$92,212$112,381$(89,337)$115,256
Pre-Primary[35]February 20, 2014$115,256$5,529$(25,782)$95,002
April Quarterly[36]April 15, 2014$95,002$58,108$(28,681)$124,429
July Quarterly[37]July 15, 2014$124,429$165,178$(167,807)$121,800
Running totals
$604,265.23$(587,050.45)

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.[38] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[39]

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.[40]

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.[41]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Vela's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-1,301,979 and $10,096,001. That averages to $4,397,011, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Vela ranked as the 81st most wealthy representative in 2012.[42]

Filemon Vela Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2012$4,397,011
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

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.[43]

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.

Filemon Vela News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Texas," November 6, 2012
  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," accessed March 3, 2013
  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 - CISPA (2013) - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  9. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  23. 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
  24. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  25. Texas Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report-2012 Democratic Party Primary Runoff," accessed August 30, 2012
  26. Texas Democrats, "2012 Candidate list," accessed May 10, 2012
  27. Texas Secretary of State, "Unofficial Democratic primary results," May 29, 2012
  28. Associated Press primary runoff results
  29. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Filemon Vela," accessed March 25, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela Summary Report," accessed July 24, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela April Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela Year-End," accessed February 6, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela Pre-Primary," accessed April 20, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela April Quarterly," accessed April 20, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Filemon Vela July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2014
  38. Open Secrets, "Filemon Vela 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 5, 2013
  39. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  40. OpenCongress, "Filemon Vela," accessed August 2, 2013
  41. GovTrack, "Filemon Vela," accessed April 2, 2013
  42. OpenSecrets, "Filemon Vela (D-Texas), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  43. 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
'