The theme of U.S. Rep. Randy Weber’s first town hall event in many months Saturday seemed to be one of bipartisanship.

“We may not all have our act together, but you bet we all better act together,” he said in closing.

The Friendswood Republican stopped in League City on Saturday as the second stage of a three-town hall sprint across his district, beginning in Lake Jackson and ending in Beaumont, speaking on a wide range of issues, from healthcare to freedom of religion to gun control, among many others.

The town hall featured a few tense moments, such as when Rhonda Hart, the mother of Kimberly Vaughan, who was among the 10 people killed when a shooter opened fire at Santa Fe High School, asked Weber why he wouldn’t support background checks. But, on the whole, Weber seemed content to emphasize areas of agreement and compliment those in attendance.

Congressional staffers before the meeting started passing out comment cards and told residents they could write any sort of question they’d like the congressman to answer.

Residents responded to the prompt with a wide variety of questions, from one who asked about getting more research ships for Texas A&M University at Galveston to another who asked whether Weber would create some sort of ban for outside organizations that try to enforce separation of church and state in communities.

“These anti-God harassers are coming into our communities and telling us we have to remove our creches,” the resident said. “I’d like to see some legislation about it.”

While Weber agreed that he was a big supporter of the 10th Amendment, he also added that there wouldn’t be a way to settle that dispute in the context of a town hall meeting.

And, when Hart asked Weber about background checks, he told her that his district was very pro-Second Amendment.

But, after briefly opposing her stance, he quickly mentioned that he did question federal officials about the recent decision not to pursue charges against Dimitrious Pagourtzis, the man charged in the Santa Fe High School shooting.

Weber also told attendees he was keeping a close eye on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed coastal barrier plan.

Finally, when asked about issues and challenges unique to his district, Weber told attendees he thought transportation, hurricane protection and flood mitigation were some of the most important.

“Drainage is a big deal,” he said. “Because of bipartisanship in the Texas House delegation, we were able to pass Hurricane Harvey recovery funds in record time.”

Another tense moment came toward the end of the meeting, when Teresa Kumelski asked Weber whether he planned to vote in favor of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, something he will have to decide this week.

Weber told Kumelski he hadn’t yet had time to review that with his staff and didn’t have a position, upon which several attendees asked why not since the vote is this week.

But, as the town hall continued, Weber drifted back to his position on bipartisanship.

Just before he closed, several residents asked Weber and his staff whether more regular town halls were in the future.

“Yes, I would hope so,” Weber said. “We will see how this goes, the one before this was not well-attended. We had a lot of discussion on the format of this.”

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


(8) comments

Allison Buchtien

I attended and taped the event. You can view here: https://www.pscp.tv/w/b3Aq8TFNV0t3QmJhV3pRYll8MU95SkF5TFpNV0RKYvTd5up55g6D3RvUUfcAZARIPHsoxmrnkC-wI0G7FpyU?t=1s

Gary Scoggin

Bipartisanship becomes more important once your party is no longer the one in power.

George Croix

If just ONE politician would simply tell the unvarnished truth, which is that it's impossible to represent to the satisfaction of each constituent, and stop with the almost always BS 'bipartisan' safe word dodge, we'd be Step 1 on the road to some hope of actually being a smidgen bipartisan...country first, self second, deader than a doornail right now....
Bipartisan is another on a long list of words that, despite being listed in Merriam-Webster's, have become effectively meaningless........
Include most of the 'ists' and 'isms', too.....
Just low level noise, blunted to the point of dull by interminable misuse.
The loud boy with the aversion to wild canines, on the other hand, is noisier than ever....

Cindy Acosta

Personally I like Congressman Weber and his wife. I think he has SETX folks best interest in mind. Like an old Congressman I knew and my dad loved, in the past Charlie Wilson. He also focused on constituents who wanted to keep their Bibles, Guns, family values and jobs and he did well for 30 years in Washington. That is fine with me if Congressman Weber does the same thing, as long as he remembers the position of the vast majority of his constituents related to the horrible Coastal Barrier idea. In closing if refineries had proper barriers around their own sites, Deer Park and our water ways would not be dealing with the fall out oft the foam today.

George Croix

It was a surprise to me to see the aerials showing 15 fair sized tanks inside one perimeter berm with no separation berms. That would explain a few of the major problems the firefighters had.
Firefighting foam itself is typically 94% or more water. Usual percent applications of the foam itself are 1, 3 or 6% for AFFF and AR-AFFF, or at least it was not so long ago. The water cools and the foam suppresses and coats. On a large scale scene like that was, it's important that the water drain away before it can overtop the berm enclosure(s) and/or any manifolding that needs to be accessed, thus making a bad situation a lot worse, and spreading it to other areas.

Carol Andrews

Randy Weber was asked if he would support the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Just days before the vote, he responded that he didn’t know enough about the issue and would have to learn more. He did. He talked with the NRA and then voted against the Reauthorization of the VAWA. Because guns. He sold out women because of guns. Women of Galveston County should be outraged. Women of Galveston County should vote out Randy Weber and elect a candidate that values their lives. https://officialgcdp.slack.com/archives/DF70Z1EJ1/p1554400216007100

George Croix

Well, that's not exactly the whole story, is it, Carol.....
The fact is, the NRA SUPPORTED reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, until the following:
"Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., drafted a provision to be added to the 1994 law that would strip stalkers, current or former boyfriends or dating partners convicted of domestic abuse of their firearms."
That sounds innocent and reasonable enough, until we learn that now as amended a misdemeanor conviction can be used to remove a Constitutional Right where previously it was a felony required.
And consider that someone 'feeling threatened' could ultimately lead to a person convicted of 'domestic abuse' because of that feeling. That changes the dynamic in this day of 'safe spaces' for people who feel 'threatened' just by a mean look or unkind word.
WAY too brioad.
And, Dingell wasn't interested in amending her amendment to include specific terminology and conviction outcomes, which removal of a Constitutional Right should have, not just a broad reference. How far does 'former' go, if not specified...back to Junior High??
It was exactly what it was designed to be...a way to yet again cast blame and demonize an organization hated by most of the Left, and fire up it's base, knowing they, too, would parrot whatever was put out, without actually looking at the backstory....
And, obviously, it worked.........
Hey, as long as one wins, who cares about how.......[whistling]

George Croix


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