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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

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, killing at least three people and wounding many others on Saturday afternoon, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

The big picture: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when five cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement. The National Transportation Safety Board said it's investigating the derailment.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.