Democrats are upset in the Texas Senate as Republicans set aside the Senate tradition of requiring the approval of two-thirds of the members before a bill can be voted upon by the body.

“We were not sent down here to preserve the two-thirds rule. We were sent here to govern. The people of the state of Texas don’t give diddly about the two-thirds rule,” Senate finance committee chairman, and big spender of late, Ogden said. “They expect us to produce a budget that will meet their needs for the next two years and if we don’t, they’re going to fire us.”

On the other hand, Senator Ellis, Democrat Houston, said, “If there is an attempt to pass a budget document … by something less than that tradition of a two-thirds vote, what we are essentially doing is making a decision that we are going to change the whole nature of how things operate here.”

Yep, what will change is that Senate traditions adopted by Senators and not the people of Texas will take a back-seat to voting on bills which the Constitution of Texas requires the Senate to consider. And since such involves being true to the Constitution, you can bet that Democrats will squeal loudly.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst pointed out the obvious: “our No. 1 duty in the Legislature pursuant to the Constitution is to pass a balanced budget. … At the end of the day, I will pass a budget, whether I’m standing on my head or whether I’m standing up straight.”

Big spending or not, Ogden and Dewhurst are right, the budget is required to be handled and no internal two-thirds rule should stop such. Once again, and part of a national pattern, we find Democrats fighting what the Constitution requires of government, in favor of the cushy rules they’ve created for themselves, the members of the governing class. In Texas the Constitution will win.

Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at

© 2011 Pratt on Texas

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at


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