Texans at odds on LBJ building name bill

Nov. 12, 2005 at 12:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Texas' congressional delegation is divided along party lines over a symbolic bill to name the U.S. Department of Education in memory of Lyndon Johnson.

Johnson, a Democrat, was the first president from the Lone Star State and signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 into law, giving federal aid to schools for the first time, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Texan politicians, usually on the same team when dealing with issues of state pride, have been in a rancorous battle over the symbolic naming.

Ty Cashion, a history professor at Sam Houston State University, said current politics have polarized Texas.

Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said a controversial redistricting measure in 2002 that seemed to give Republicans an advantage fractured previous bipartisanship.

Democratic Reps. Gene Green and Joe Barton proposed the measure last week.

Republican Rep. John Culberson originally supported it and then dropped the co-sponsorship the next day.

He said he didn't think Johnson was "a good role model for young people."

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