May 23, 2023

Scores of Bills Die as Texas House Takes Last Weekend of Session Off

Our Texas Legislature is a part time legislature, meaning that it typically does business for a few months every other year. In order to serve the needs of the world’s 8th largest economy, Texans expect our legislators to accomplish a lot in a matter of weeks. In this current legislative session, as Texas continues to suffer a border invasion replete with the largest human slave trade and drug trade in history, the rampant sexualization of our kids, and the all-out assault on our liberties and sovereignty by an openly hostile federal government, we desperately need our Texas Legislature to do their duty and defend Texas.

And yet, on Friday night a shocking video emerged of our “Republican” House Speaker Dade Phelan incapable of rendering intelligible English.

This video is also available directly from the Texas House livestream archive, here (skip to 5:28:50):

https://tlchouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=80&clip_id=24931

Regardless of whether severe inebriation, an acute medical emergency, or severe fatigue was involved, Phelen should have immediately surrendered his post to someone who was in full command of their mental faculties. Under no circumstances should a chamber that passes laws affecting the lives of over thirty million Texans be administered by an incapacitated person.

Most Texans would be shocked to learn that there is often an open bar near the floor of the Texas House, replete with complimentary hard liquor, and there is no rule against drunkenness, as long as “decorum” is maintained.

This photo was reportedly taken recently near the House floor while the House was in session.

Photo of bar near Texas House Floor.
Bar Near House Floor

Twenty minutes after Phelan’s “episode,” Representative Geren motioned for a highly unusual adjournment until Monday, causing scores of Senate bills to die in House committees. Since records have been kept online, or for at least 30 years, the Texas Legislature has worked through the final weekends of the session, and this is the first time since the twentieth century that our Representatives took time off this late in session.

It is also worth noting that, earlier in the session, the Texas legislature voted for NINE “greater-than three day” weekends, all within a session that spans only five months. Our representative, Lynn Stucky, voted in favor of adjourning for every single long weekend (many other Republicans voted against them).

Today, in response to Phelan’s behavior, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called for Dade Phelan to step down as Speaker of the Texas House and has opened up an investigation into the matter.

Letter from AG Paxton

Dade Phelan became Republican Speaker in 2020 by seeking support from Democrats. Phelan, like Bonnen and Straus before him, embraced the practice of trading support for powerful chairmanships in the Republican-controlled chamber. Last session Phelan awarded 14 Democrats control of powerful committees in the chamber, including Public Education. This session, Phelan surrendered control of 8 committees, including Business and Industry, in open opposition to the will of 81% of Republicans across the state and the Republican Party of Texas. Texas is the only state legislature to award chairmanships to the minority party.

“California Dade” (the preferred nickname given by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick) recently became the largest fundraiser in the Texas House, raising $2.9 million in just over a year. Last cycle, Phelan donated extensively to at least 38 members of the House Republican Caucus:

Donations from Speaker Dade Phelan

It’s time for Texas conservatives to take back their Legislature from the lobbyist-funded establishment which betrays our ideals and voluntarily cedes power to Democrats and their agenda. Get involved in the growing army of conservatives who believe that Texas should lead the fight for our freedoms. Start by following me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Stand for Texas!