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Speaker Phelan Faces Witch Hunt From Within His Own Party

23 GOP state lawmakers and candidates signed an open letter calling on the House Speaker to stop appointing “radical Democrats” as chairmen and to represent the conservative Republican agenda.

In the letter, titled “Contract with Texas,” the Republicans, led by State Representative Brian Harrison, signed a list of demands for the Speaker that would limit the Speaker to two terms and prohibit the Speaker from distributing political funds. The letter is a complaint against Dade Phelan, often called a RINO (Republican in name only) by his fellow party members, for appointing Democrats to chair House committees.

“For years, Texas House Speakers have betrayed Republican voters by putting radical Democrats in charge and colluding with them to destroy liberty. That insanity must end. Voters repudiated Dade Phelan’s failed, liberal leadership team in last month’s primaries,” Harrison wrote.

The truth is that only a small fraction of House standing committees have a Democratic chair. Of the chamber’s 34 committees, Phelan appointed only eight Democratic chairs, reserving most of the high-profile assignments for Republicans.

The letter also calls for things such as ensuring “all GOP legislative priorities receive a floor vote before any Democrat bills,” changing the parliamentarians, excluding Democrats from voting discussions, and allowing the recording of all House proceedings.

“The House’s most recent session was marked by obstruction, dysfunction, and a lack of fundamental fairness in application of the House’s Rules, and this cannot continue,” the letter reads. “The message of last month’s primaries was self-evident and sent a clear message that business as usual is not acceptable.”

In last month’s primaries, a record nine House GOP incumbents were unseated by their challengers and Phelan was pushed into a runoff against David Covey, who also signed the letter. Most of the incumbents were targeted for opposing school vouchers or for voting to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Phelan was the first speaker in more than 50 years to be forced into a runoff. As he focused on his campaign, fellow Republican Tom Oliverson announced he would run for speaker.

Oliverson said last month that he would commit to many of the things that appear on the contract’s list, though he has not signed it.

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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