Sources at the Texas Capitol said today that conservative legislators are finalizing plans for a “Contract with Texas” that would serve as a rallying point for legislative action in 2025. While welcome by some, establishment Republicans are reportedly rushing to release a watered-down version of the proposal.

The effort is being spearheaded by Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands), Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth), Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian), and Gary Gates (R-Richmond). Their efforts to pull the House GOP caucus away from its history of capitulation to the Democrats has not been well-received by others – including the dwindling “Freedom Caucus.”

The list reportedly includes a prohibition of Democrat committee chairs, the removal of both Democrat parliamentarians, and a pledge to get all of the Texas GOP’s 89th Session legislative priorities on the floor for a vote before April 15, 2025.

House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), who is himself in a May 28 primary, has publicly said he intends to continue the practice of letting Democrats control legislative committees setting state policy.

One incumbent lawmaker said the push has been driven, in part, by incoming lawmakers Mitch Little, Mike Olcott, and Brent Money—all of whom are reportedly eager for the GOP to deliver on specific reforms that have been popular with voters. The lawmaker asked not to be identified so as to not “get out in front” of the proposal before it is released in the coming days.

Senior officials inside the Republican caucus are wanting the “contract” to be delayed until after the May 28 runoff. The opponents of the “Contract” are specifically worried about incumbents like Phelan, Stephanie Klick, and DeWayne Burns having to make public promises unpopular with the lobbyists funding their campaigns.

This, the same incumbent said, defeats the purpose of getting candidates unified around core Republican priorities. That, though, is a concern for Republicans who have tended to slow-walk their party’s priorities to curry favor with Democrat lawmakers and Austin lobbyists.

Once a viable force inside the House Republican Caucus, the “Freedom Caucus” has seen its numbers dwindle as its leadership aligned with the moderate speakerships of Dennis Bonnen and Dade Phelan.

As a result, the State Freedom Caucus Network has explicitly excluded the Texas Freedom Caucus from its ranks.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."