November 2, 2023

Paxton Gets Booted, Quorum Vanishes, and Texas House Takes Vacation

I’m sad to report that after 3.5 weeks, the TX House has:

➡️ Only been gaveled in for a matter of hours,
➡️ Ejected Attorney General Paxton from the House chambers,
➡️ Struggled to establish quorum, and

➡️ Has now taken a six day vacation after killing school choice.

Coincidentally, the special session ends in just six days.

As you may know, Gov. Abbott called a third special session to begin on October 9th to address the border, school choice, and vaccine mandates. While the Senate has been hard at work, the Texas House has only been gaveled in for a matter of hours. On both Monday and Tuesday of this week, a quorum was been denied because dozens of House Reps, including our very own Lynn Stucky, were nowhere to be found.

On top of absenteeism in the House, Phelan continues to defy Texas voters with his personal war on AG Paxton. During a heated debate on border security, House Speaker Dade Phelan ordered the Sergeant at Arms to take the unprecedented action to remove conservative Attorney General from the House Chambers. The irony should not be lost on Texans that, unlike Phelan, Ken Paxton has been consistent in his fight with the Biden administration to secure our southern border.

It’s not like AG Paxton just showed up uninvited — he had received a number of invitations from House Republicans to attend the session. This, however, did not stop Phelan from taking every opportunity to humiliate Paxton.

Thus far, the primary victories that the Texas House can claim in this third session are:

  • SB7—which will protect Texans from being forced by businesses to take a COVID-19 vaccination. Unfortunately, this bill falls short of protecting Texans from any future vaccine mandate for new viruses.
  • HB4 – After kicking the can on the border for nearly a year, the Texas House managed to impose a criminal penalty for crossing the border illegally. Last spring, the Texas Senate passed SB2424 (Birdwell) which would have made illegal entry a crime, but this bill died as the House chose to use the last days of session to impeach Attorney General Paxton.
  • HB6 – at long last, appropriates $1.5B for border barrier infrastructure. Over the 7 sessions that have occurred since Biden took office in 2021, many bills have been filed in the Texas House to “finish the wall,” but all have been killed in committee.  

Don’t forget that 1.2 MILLION illegals have crossed the border since the 88th Legislative Session began in January.

It’s worth noting how costly these special sessions can be for taxpayers. It is estimated that a single special session, which lasts 30 days, costs up to $1.2 million.

Republicans are blaming Democrats for pulling the same stunt they pulled in 2021 when Democrats stayed out of the chamber to stall voting on bills. But it’s not just the Democrats who are refusing to do their jobs. Twenty Republicans, including our representative Lynn Stucky, were AWOL. Now, constituents are being told by Representatives that they “just ran out of time.”

Last night, Phelan likely violated the Texas State Constitution and abused rules of the legislature by announcing that the House will “stand at ease” for 5 to 6 days.

Article III, Section 17 of the Texas State Constitution states that, “Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that where the Legislature may be sitting.

Phelan’s announcement came immediately after the House failed to pass school choice, again ignoring the priorities set by the Republican Party of Texas.

We need real Republicans representing us in Austin. The corrupt uniparty establishment will continue to waste our money on special sessions where very little is achieved. We can skip these political games by electing conservatives to the legislature who will get to work on day one.