“Fewer than a third of Texas’ congressional delegation plan to host town halls during Congress’ August recess. … More representatives are instead opting to host easier-to-control telephone town halls, small constituent meetings at their offices, or other platforms for constituent engagement out of the spotlight,” as public town halls “just as easily open up shouting matches with angry constituents.” Those hosting town halls have also modified their structure. Rep. Joe Barton (R-06), for instance, who “is hosting four town halls this month,” will assign numbers to audience members “to randomly determine who gets to ask a question. Selected audience members have two minutes to ask their question, and Barton has two minutes to respond.” Democrats are also being careful — though they don’t “have a failed healthcare plan to account for, town halls can still open the door to all kinds of constituent interactions.” (Dallas Morning News)
HURD FINISHES TOUR. Rep. Will Hurd (R-23), “the Texas member of Congress with perhaps the most to lose in next year’s midterm elections, wrapped up a seven-day, 20-town-hall tour of his sprawling district in Helotes on Saturday, trying to strike a tone of bipartisanship and moderation.” (San Antonio Express-News) The moderate tone reflects the district, which backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. The district’s boundary lines are currently the subject of a federal redistricting case.