• Reps. Michael Burgess and Joe Barton fret at GOP schism on fiscal cliff deal (The Dallas Morning News): "With House Speaker John Boehner supporting the deal and Majority Leader Eric Cantor opposing it, 'essentially, both camps had cover from leadership, whichever way they wanted to go,' Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, said this morning. … Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, speaking with Davis a half-hour later, agreed that a 2-1 split among House Republicans could impede the party’s efforts to hold back the Democrats’ agenda."
• Boehner needs to go, Stockman says (Houston Chronicle): "The man who earned a reputation as an unpredictable maverick during his one and only previous term in Congress nearly two decades ago would seem to be picking up where he left off. 'I will not vote for or support Congressman Boehner’s bid to remain Speaker of the House,' said Congressman-elect Steve Stockman in a statement released Wednesday afternoon."
• Wind Tax Credit Spared in 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal (StateImpact Texas): "Just a week after Texas hit another record for wind power generation, the wind industry and the green energy sector are breathing a huge sigh of relief today after Congress extended a tax credit that was set to expire."
New in The Texas Tribune:
• Ethics Commission Fines Simmons' PAC Over Donations: "The political action committee for Waste Control Specialists, which is run by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, was fined Wednesday by the Texas Ethics Commisssion over illegal political contributions."
• Packed Field Could Mean a Runoff in SD-6: "Eight contenders have filed paperwork to run in the Jan. 26 special election to replace the late Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr. The packed field could mean the district goes without representation until spring if a runoff is needed."
• Security Policy Shift in Mexico is Seen as Push to Reaffirm Sovereignty: "A former U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent says that a new security policy announced in Mexico signals a growing focus on sovereignty and a shift from some initiatives considered priorities by the United States."
• They Weren't in the Running, but They Still Won Some Write-In Votes: "Chuck Norris, Donald Trump, Mickey Mouse and Willie Nelson may not have been declared candidates for the 2012 presidential election, but they got write-in votes in Texas. That support didn't get them any closer to the White House, as counties don't officially count write-in votes for uncertified candidates."