While everyone is focused on the Democrats preening for cameras in Washington, D.C., one of the missing Texas House members claims on Facebook he cannot afford to miss work and is merely hiding out in Texas.

”I have to work for a living and can’t afford to be away from Texas,” State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D–San Antonio) posted.

Pacheco was first elected in 2020. House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) appointed Pacheco to serve as vice chairman of the Committee on Higher Education. He was also appointed by Phelan to serve on the House’s General Investigating and Licensing and Administrative Procedures committees.

An inquiry into Speaker Phelan’s office was not returned about attempts by the sergeant-at-arms or Texas Department of Public Safety to apprehend Pacheco and other Democrat House members who might still be in the state. This article will be updated should the speaker’s office respond.

In a different Facebook post, Pacheco warned that if he was “found” by the sergeant-at-arms or DPS, he “won’t go friendly like.”

State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Haslet) is chairman of the House Committee on General Investigating. He did not respond to inquiries about the appropriateness of sitting legislators making such comments.

State Rep. Byran Slaton (R–Royse City) isn’t impressed by Pacheco’s plea that he has to be at work.

“We all have to work for a living and be legislators. We should all show up on our own. If someone won’t, the DPS and sergeant-at-arms should follow the rules of the House under this call of the House,” said Slaton.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called on the speaker to strip absent Democrats of their chairmanships. Phelan has maintained he does not have the ability to do so, despite the rules of the Texas House saying otherwise.

When asked over email by a Texas taxpayer about the Democrats’ absence, Pacheco responded profanely from his official state email address. (Texas Scorecard is redacting the profane language from the quote.)

“I’m not in Washington A******,” wrote Pacheco. “I work in the Oil and Gas industrial construction industry.”

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."


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