Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Welcome to the Luke Macias Show, while the Texas House of Representatives ran out of time, again, and Dan Patrick has had it, Greg Abbott announced that he cut a deal with the Speaker of the Texas House, who then came out that same day and said, I don’t really know if we have a deal at all, Dade Phelan his last operational control of his own chamber. And today, we’re going to break it down for you.
Let’s get to the show. We just ran out of time. This is literally what I have been telling you. state representatives are going to tell you when they get home since January and February, it started out with two members of the Texas House voting against five day weekends. And that turned into three members and four members. And time and time again, we said these guys are not serious about doing the work they’ve been sent here to do.
And the legislative session is wrapping up. And there are things done. Why? Because Governor Abbott called the legislature into session and said work on these items. And when it came to school choice, the Texas House said, No, we’re not going to. In fact, what they said is Governor, you need to give the educrats billions more dollars in order for us to even think about giving parents an ounce of school choice.
That’s been the position of the Texas House of Representatives. And now that we’re in the final push a little final stage. All of a sudden you hear them say, Well, we’re just not sure we have enough time. This is what happens.
Michael Sullivan wrote a piece on Texas scorecard called an out they had time. Republican members of the Texas House This is from Michael’s piece are already telling constituents that school choice and other conservative parties did not get done because there was not enough time available. Thursday, November 2 marked the 300 and sixth day of 2023, the legislature had 140 days of the regular session to complete special sessions of 30 days each. And now this third special session of which five days remain. And this is written by the way. Well on Thursday. That is to say the legislature has been in session for 225 days.
In that time, the Texas Senate has completed all the work put before it in some cases such as school choice. They’ve done it several times over. And this happened last week. Y’all remember the speech Brian Harrison gave on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate man. He said, hey, I want to thank the Texas Senate not for passing this bill this time, but for passing it to other times. And unfortunately, the Texas House killed that as well. So the Senate has to work in an efficient manner three times to get the house to do it once and when it comes to school of choice. I don’t even know how many school choice bills the Senate has passed since 2015. It’s a lot. And the Texas House has never been willing to even let them move for a vote.
So what happened? Governor Abbott comes out last week. And he says we’ve made a deal. We’ve reached an agreement. You see the Texas Senate passed a bill. And this is roughly what it did. It established a school choice program for all Texans, but it’s capped by the amount of money that’s appropriated. And currently in the Texas budget, there is $500 million that has been appropriated for school choice. And so that $500 million would approximately cover like 60,000, I don’t know 70,000 Students somewhere in that rough number and range 60 to 70,000 students. And the next session will roll around and we will debate how much we can budget towards this program. And the question is going to be how many parents are trying to get in? What’s the waiting list? We need to give people more choice because more people want the choice than we have currently available in education savings accounts, and so more funding will be given.
And so they passed this program that says it applies for all here’s kind of how you prioritize who gets in first and then we’ll fight for more money in the future in the Texas House comes out and we haven’t even seen the bill. Okay. They’ve had 30 days and they haven’t even had a hearing on a piece of policy to discuss and deliberate what it could look like. But roughly what is being talked about behind closed doors is some program that’s limited and kept 25,000 students, maybe 35,000 students are going to get an ESA. And it’s not even clear that that will even grow as funding grows. Like, I think what they want to do is set it up to where you have to pass another bill next session, if you even want more kids to be able to get into this ESA program. That’s what I think.
But I can’t tell you because there’s no bill at the moment in time that I’m recording this. And this is how the house operates. They operate behind closed doors in secret, it’s the same way they impeach people is the same way they pass school choice legislation. They don’t tell anybody and then they spring it on you at the end, trying to give you as little time as possible to actually talk about what they want to do.
But roughly what’s being discussed is some very limited program. And then when they do that limited program, they say, Hey, in order to do this, we’ve got to give every single school hundreds of dollars more for every student, they’re educating. Why? Well, because 25,000 Students might leave under an ESA program. Okay, what happens when they leave? Oh, we’re also going to write the public school $10,000 for the kid that’s leaving, it’s called a hold harmless. Okay, so they’re getting $300. For every kid, they’re educating, they’re getting $10,000. For the kid that left, what about the people teaching the kids, we’re also given them all a $4,000 Raise, okay, got it.
So remember, the house is basically said, We don’t care about the parents in the schools, we don’t care about the students being indoctrinated, it doesn’t matter. We have a massive program designed to keep all the educrats happy. We’re giving everybody a pay raise. We’re giving every bureaucracy way more money to spend. And we’re paying them for people who leave their school.
But we’re only going to let 10s of 1000s. Now, by the way, they didn’t say the best teachers get a pay raise. They just said every teacher gets pairs. They didn’t say the best schools get more money. They said every school gets more money. But they did say only 25,000 students get this program. They didn’t say every student, they didn’t say every parent. And that tells you who they prioritize. Every government bureaucracy gets more money, every government employee who’s a teacher gets more money, but not every parent gets empowered.
And not every student is given a choice. This is the sad reality. But the governor come out comes out and says you know what? What the speaker had told the governor was, hey, I need you to add school finance the call. Abbott’s position was you have to actually like move school choice through the process. And then I’ll give the schools more money. And the speaker says, Well, you got to give the schools more money and school choice at the same time. So Abbott comes out and says you know what, we’ve reached an agreement with Speaker Phelan on school choice.
We’ve got to break through we’ve got a deal. And the idea was this kind of pared down program is going to move what I just described to you likely something kinda like what I just described to you. But the details are still not public. But this, the governor laid out kind of his goal of what this bill would accomplish. Now, to be clear, the governor has said he wants school choice for all. So it’s not that the governor wants this capped at 25,000 students are 50. And have some massive giveaway to get it. He’s, I guess, trying to look at the votes and see what he can get across the finish line.
So the governor comes out and says we’ve reached an agreement, something’s going to pass. And then Dade Phelan does not call this a deal or an agreement. Here’s what he said. He basically thanked Governor Abbott, thank you for letting us give the schools more money in your call. And he said I look forward to having a robust discussion on school funding, teacher pay and other critical education issues with my house colleagues.
That was what his spokesman said Kasi. So with his house colleagues, not by House colleagues. So it’s interesting because it reveals the reality that the Speaker of the Texas House is not in a position to actually cut a deal with the governor Dade Phelan and I’ve said this several times has lost operational control of the Texas House of Representatives. The Democrats are mad. And they we revealed that to you last week.
The Democrats are mad because bills that they worked with the Phelan to kill last session just passed their tent ticked, what’s the good in cutting a deal with David Phelan? If he kills the bill and then 30 or 60 or 90 days later, he’s letting the bill go through that ticks The Democrats off. The governor is not happy because he cut a deal with the speaker.
And now the speaker is like, well, well, our deal was that I was going to let the House decide what they wanted to do with your bill. That’s not a deal. That’s not leadership, you can’t deliver anything. So the Democrats aren’t happy. The 20 to 30 Republicans that aren’t supportive of school choice, as a policy as a whole are not happy.
They’re also not listening to Dade Phelan because Dade Phelan is the speaker. And he’s going into these people, people’s offices and saying, hey, you know, he and his lieutenants, you’ve got Dustin burrows, and Craig Goldman and Greg bond, and Craig Goldman’s now going to run for Congress, which kind of shows you have like these top lieutenants that are jumping ship, right?
They’re going like, look, this whole thing is not nearly as good as it was earlier. I think I’m gonna look for greener pastures. So these guys are going into these are members, hey, you got the governor wants us to do this. We kind of cut a deal. We made an agreement. Let’s get this thing across the finish line. And these members are like no.
And the reason they can just say no, is because leadership at this point just doesn’t have the influence. They’ve walked other members off of a plank, to impeach the attorney general, there are more conservative challengers than at any time in Texas history. And now you’re telling me I have to vote for this thing that I don’t actually support. Because remember, a lot of these Republicans actually do support their teacher unions and actually don’t support school choice and don’t support the Republican platform. So they’re telling the speaker, I’m not giving you this win. Because you’re only doing this to make up for the fact that you impeached the Attorney General, which you didn’t tell me about until 48 hours before the vote.
So he doesn’t have that coalition. Conservatives are more frustrated with them than ever. In fact, I’m going to read for you a statement that several conservative state representatives put out when we come back.
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Representative Steve Toth Nate Schatz line Brian Harrison and Tony Tinderholt put out a joint statement about some of speaker feelings antics I’m going to read it for you here.
In recent years, the House made it common practice to stand at ease for short periods of time, while waiting on members to conduct off floor negotiations make edits to amendment language, or to otherwise prepare for the next item of business over the chamber. This informal practice has not required a vote of the present members. Today’s Speaker Phlean abused this informal practice in lieu of a proper recess or adjournment, which would require a vote of the members. It is particularly troubling to hear an announcement that the house stands at ease for an indefinite period of time, up to five or six days. While the members are conducting no business. This appears to violate Article Three section 17 of the Texas Constitution, which stipulates that one chamber may not adjourn for more than three days without the permission of the other chamber. The speaker mentioned this was being done to allow messages to come over from the Senate over the weekend. However, there are items on the governor’s call which still require house’s attention. We swore an oath to uphold the Texas Constitution, including the Constitutions command that one chamber should not abandon the work of the legislature without the permission of the other Speaker Phelan decision was made so quickly that we were not given the opportunity to properly object nor does there seem to be a clear process to object to a speaker’s unilateral declaration that we are standing at ease accordingly. We wish to make our concern over the speaker’s flagrant disregard of the Texas Constitution our rules and accepted house practices.”
No. Now, I know that kind of sounds wonky and inside are you but the thing you have to understand is de doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t know how to land the plane. He doesn’t have control of the chamber. He can’t cut a deal with the governor. The Lieutenant Governor is swinging at him. I’m going to just give you some snippets of what Dan Patrick has said because he’s fed up he’s done. And I totally understand the start of his statement. One of the ones he put out he said.
Mr. Speaker, you have become nothing more than hot air. You can pedal your nonsense all day long. But the truth is As your version of HB four does not require fingerprints or background check or anyone detained. That means you don’t know who you’re sending back to the port of entry.
This is part of a statement that Dan Patrick put out generally criticizing one of date feelings immigration bills. Here’s what he concludes with, after kind of going through all of his disagreements with Dade Phelan. On, on his opinion regarding this each before, he concluded saying you’ve become a speaker, who can impeach someone faster than it takes to smoke a brisket. But you can pass a big teacher, you can’t pass a big teacher pay raise bill or a school choice bill in 10 months, no one takes you seriously anymore. Another post of Lieutenant Governor says tragedy or comedy tragedy, Speaker Dade Phelan of the Texas House just wasted another special session with no action on the legislative priorities of the governor, the Senate and the majority of Texas voters comedy Speaker Phelan’s pattern waste of time to the very last minute and then blame everyone else for his inability to run the house and get a bill out of committee to the floor for an up or down vote. So the voters know where members really stand on these important issues. Here’s the thing. There’s a reason they haven’t had a hearing on school choice legislation because they don’t want you to know what Republicans believe.
Now, luckily, we already know what they believe, because they voted during the session on school choice. And on many of these issues, so they haven’t actually helped protect them. There might even be some members who like wish speaker dealing with let the bill come to the floor. That way they can vote on the right side, this time to try to please the governor, even though they voted on the wrong side during the regular session.
But Dade isn’t there to protect the members, he’s there to protect his power. And when you don’t have operational control, your best case scenario is like do as little as possible. We don’t really run this place. Imagine being like Dade and his team and just being like, Guys, we don’t, we don’t really run the place, we can’t really convince a group of people to do exactly what we want them to do. So instead of confidently going out there and leading, we’re just going to kind of try to do as little as possible and show up as little as possible. That way our weak positions aren’t as obvious or evident to everyone.
That’s essentially where we’re at. The governor can’t count on deals that he cuts with his own speaker in his own party. The Lieutenant Governor has passed the point of taking this speaker seriously, his own Republican members are saying you’re violating the Constitution, because you’re literally trying to say like, let’s just stand at ease for six days. That’s not a thing. Mr. Speaker, you have to adjourn. And if you’re going to adjourn for three days, you have to send that to the Senate and the Senate has to accept it.
These are the reasons we’ve set these things up so that you can’t just shirk your responsibility, but Dade Phelan didn’t do that. Democrats are saying, we’re good soldiers for you. And now you’re letting this conservative stuff pass just because the governor tried to push you to do it. These are bills we specifically cut deals with you on to kill.
Last but not least last week, we showed you the cringe. I mean, just completely strange activity of Jeff Leach. And we showed you where Jeff Leach said You know, if we pass Steve toasts amendment, we’re gonna kill this bill. It’s dead. We’re gonna kill the bill. And then we saw and Johnson say, Look, I know you Republicans are telling us you’re going to strip this amendment in committee.
This Steve Toth amendment that was gonna kill the bill. And then Jeff Leach said, Well, we got to put it on so that we don’t kill it. But then we’ll I guess, strip it out in committee. And that’s what Jeff Leach was telling people on the floor. We’ll strip it out in committee. We’ll get it we’ll get stripped out in conference. And then the Democrats are like we’re still mad at you, but I know you’re gonna strip out in conference. Thanks for giving us a little win. Well, guess what Mays Middleton. He doesn’t really play the same game as Jeff Leach. So when it came back to the Senate, he didn’t even go to conference.
He took the House bill as it was passed it and send it to the Governor to sign so Steve totes actions and Nate chat sign and Brian Harrison and Tony Tinder Holt. They walked into that chamber, rewrote that Bill and made it better and it’s on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill the amendment was gonna foil the whole plan. Remember how leech was called out is complete lie. Mays Middleton opposes this amendment.
All of those lies were revealed. The policy went on over how the house leadership’s objections and now it’s on its way to the governor’s desk. That is how little control Dade and leech and all these people have of the lower chamber. That is a good thing for you. If you are a conservative Texan and you want things to advance, this is good for you. That’s what’s going on in the special session. May God bless you and may God bless the great state of Texas. Thank you for listening to the Luke Misia show. To find out more information about what’s going on here in Texas, visit Texas scorecard.com.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai