Republicans saw huge gains in the Texas Legislature in the November elections. They went from having a slim majority in the Texas House to a supermajority for the first time in Texas history. The new Texas Legislature will be sworn in Tuesday, with the election for House Speaker at the top of the agenda. Democrats elected the past Speaker of the House two years ago with a handful of Republicans, in a Republican controlled House.
Speaker Strauss has a conflicted record as a Republican and House Speaker. He has the public and financial support of Planned Parenthood and is the only Republican in Texas with a 100% pro-abortion record from NARAL. He appointed Democrat Representatives and liberal Republicans to key House committees which prevented important bills from getting an up or down vote to get out of committee. Some of those bills had the votes in the full House to be passed, like the ultrasound bill.
With the vote tomorrow, the majority of Republicans and Democrats have pledged to support previous speaker Strauss rather than endorsing the proven conservative in the Speaker race, Ken Paxton. There has been some movement away from Speaker Strauss in the last two months as the race has gotten attention. Republicans will meet in their caucus this afternoon to negotiate among themselves and to cast a non-binding vote for Speaker.
This Speaker’s election is getting statewide and national attention from different sources, including; Tea Party groups, Pro-life groups, Pro-family groups and fiscal conservatives. As a whole, Texas is known is a conservative state. Even the majority of our Democrats would be considered moderate or conservative in other parts of the country. So it is perplexing to many that the Texas House would elect a Republican with a conflicted record, who doesn’t appear to strongly support the GOP platform and has the strong backing of pro-abortion groups. Various straw polls have been taken all showing strong public support for Paxton among Texas voting Republicans.
Time is running short. We, the people, spoke out in November by sending more conservatives back to the Texas House, now we need to speak out again. Remind your Representative today that their first vote in the new Legislative session tomorrow should be in support of the values they represented in their campaign. Elect a new Speaker of the Texas House that supports limited government, pro-life values and is a fiscal conservative.