"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” – Plato
The 88th Legislative Session of the State of Texas convenes on January 10th.
As SREC Committeewoman for Senate District 16, this writer has served on the Legislative Priorities Committee for my past two terms. What an enlightening as well as disappointing experience to find that in spite of Republicans having held the majority in the Texas House since 2001, some years as a super majority, the reality is that pitifully few of the Republican Party of Texas' Legislative Priorities have been passed.
Every two years about 9,000 delegates are chosen to attend the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. We spend hours on the floor debating which legislation we feel is most critical to pass to retain Republican Leadership in Texas. We send these Priorities to our Republican Legislators and have, up until 2018, sat back and expected our elected officials to pass a significant part of our priorities. There was always the shrug of the shoulders with the excuse "We just ran out of time. We'll try again next session." Always next time. Despite having been one of the top priorities for many sessions, Constitutional Carry was only passed after the 10,000 phone calls of grassroots activists who refused to let up and finally made their synced voices heard did success happen in the last 87th Legislative Session with HB 1927.
Our #1 Legislative Priority is to protect our elections. We have found that Democrats want every vote to count, legal or not. Republicans want every LEGAL vote to count. The counterproductivity of appointing a Democrat chair to this important committee would negate every bit of the progress made in SB 1 in the 87th Session. We run the risk of every one of our priorities going down in flames by appointing Democrat Chairs for our most important committees. Committee chairs can stall a Legislative Priority bill in Committee without so much as a single hearing until it runs out the clock. During the last session, the Dems were delighted to leave the House Floor and broke quorum in order to avoid taking a vote on the Election Integrity bill. Wasted 30 days of the 140 total days of Legislative Session and required TWO Special Sessions to continue the People's business at $1 million+ each. All with absolutely no repercussions or penalties. As Speaker Phelan told them, "Well, I can't stop you from leaving." (wink, wink)
So on January 10, 2023, the Texas House will convene the 88th Legislative Session and elect the Speaker of the House to preside over the 88th Session. Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, is running with the promise of appointing Democrats to 40% of our Committees. Of course, he is backed by 100% of the minority Democrats and how ever many Republicans will cross over to vote with the Democrats to elect the Speaker. Why have the last 3 Speakers bought their power with 100% Democrat support before Republicans ever input? Rep. Tony Tinderholt is running for Speaker with the promise of abolishing Democrat Committee Chairs. He will need the majority of Republicans to accomplish this. Even though the Republican caucus nominated Rep. Phelan for Speaker (78-6) Rep. Tinderholt has pledged to bring the vote to the House Floor so that all might see who voted for whom. This vote for Speaker will be taken on January 10, 2023.
On January 12, the vote will be taken in the House, regardless of who is Speaker, to change the House Rules to eliminate Democrats from being appointed as Chairs to our most important committees. This rule change will also be a floor roll call vote and public record. Rep. Frank of Wichita Falls says that even though over 80% of his Republican constituents in Wichita County voted in favor of banning Democrat Committee Chairs, it is only HIS and all Legislators task to decide which Priorities would steer the 88th Legislative Session. https://texasscorecard.com/state/republican-lawmaker-elected-officials-decide-priorities-not-texas-gop/ Please join us in Austin on January 12 as Dallas County Republican Party will charter a bus to leave a designated location in North Dallas. There are 3 other buses going from Denton and Collin and Wise Counties. We will arrive in Austin by the 9 am gavel to flood the Gallery of the State House and the offices of ALL our Republican Legislators to make our voices heard to change this House Rule. It is time for them to join together and vote as one body as the Democrats have done for decades. We ask you to participate in our Government.