I’m shocked, she seems like such a delightful woman.
BOOK: JACKSON LEE IS A “WOMAN OF A CERTAIN RAGE” — Robert Draper’s new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” contains a rather unflattering portrait of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. The chapter on the Texas Democrat, titled “Woman of a Certain Rage,” focuses on how she annoys her House colleagues, noting her unlimited supply of proposed amendments, poor treatment of staff and membership in fifty-two different caucuses. “Her demands extended well beyond the objective of getting rights, instead suggesting a desire for ominpresence,” Draper writes.
–Draper gives Jackson Lee credit for getting results in some situations, like convincing two oil firms in her district to pay to keep Houston’s public pools open in the summer, but notes she’s often counterproductive: “In early May 2011, the congresswomen offered up an amendment to a Republican bill that repealed the school-based health care clinics provided under the Obama health care law. Jackson Lee’s amendment would require that the unobligated funds accrued from the repeal be posted on the Department of Health and Human Services website so that the public could see how much money had been saved … A voice vote was called for it. The ayes had it. … Then, as if seized by a Demon spirit, Sheila Jackson Lee said, ‘Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote. … It was defeated, 207-218, with nine apparently annoyed Blue Dog Democrats casting the decisive votes against her.”
–The final anecdote in the chapter, recounting Jackson Lee’s failed bid to lead the Congressional Black Caucus, is particularly damning. “She would later claim that she had ‘stepped aside’ and permitted Emanuel Cleaver to take the post. In fact, the CBC put the matter to a vote. Midway through the balloting, when it was clear that Jackson Lee was headed toward defeat, the congresswoman suddenly stood and proclaimed, ‘I move that we unanimously elect Emanuel Cleaver as our next chairman.’ … Several members, however, privately voiced their dismay. They wanted the voting to continue. They wanted Sheila Jackson Lee to see the final tally.”