A quick visit to the Texas Capitol yielded some interesting news today, with lawmakers saying that House Speaker Joe Straus’ key lieutenants are whipping Republicans against the special session agenda of the governor.
Specifically, State Reps. Chris Paddie (R-Center) and Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) have been “whipping” lawmakers NOT to sign on to Gov. Greg Abbott’s preferred legislation.
The House leadership has been actively undermining Abbott’s agenda. For example, the House passed a measure today by State Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) that provides rebates for fees associated with tree ordinances… a measure specifically opposed by Abbott in a meeting Monday with the Texas Conservative Coalition, according to sources. Phalen’s measure is the same as a bill vetoed by Abbott following the regular session. (Abbott prefers a stronger measure by State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin), which is stuck in committee.)
Meanwhile, State Affairs Committee chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) has told Republican lawmakers that the paycheck protection bill by State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) is dead. This mirrors actions taken by Cook in the 2015 and 2017 regular sessions.
It’s worth noting that Isaac and Workman have long been sycophants for Straus, but have been unable to worm their way into the inner-circle of crony lobbyists that control him.