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Rep. Filemon Vela, 2014. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Filemon Vela, who represents a southern Texas border district and is vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, will not run for re-election to the House next year.

Why it matters: Vela won his seat with 55% of the vote in 2020 and is the first Texas Democrat to announce he's leaving the House ahead of redistricting next year.

  • "I will not be seeking reelection to the House of Representatives in 2022," Vela said in a statement. "I will continue to focus on maintaining a Democratic House and Senate Majority in my capacity as a member of Congress and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, while working diligently for the people I am so grateful to represent."
  • His district includes Donna, where temporary overflow facilities, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reveal the crowded, makeshift conditions at the border, according to photos provided to Axios.

The big picture: With population changes reflected in the 2020 census, the country’s 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be reapportioned among the states ahead of the 2022 congressional elections.

  • States led by Republican governors — and GOP state legislatures, which in many cases redraw congressional maps — should receive more seats than Democratic states.
  • Texas, for example, saw its population grow by some 4.2 million since 2010, giving the state potentially three more seats.
  • Redistricting is expected to help Republicans close the gap on the number of seats they need to win to recapture the majority.

Vela, who is serving in his fifth term, has close connections to the White House and was in contention for a Cabinet position.

  • President Biden appointed his wife, Rose Vela, a retired Texas state district judge and Texas appellate justice, to run the president’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

2 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."