When the Texas House gaveled into session on Tuesday morning, significantly fewer lawmakers were in attendance. Almost immediately, a series of motions were made to verify that there was no quorum and, therefore, the House could not conduct business.

Since the House was technically recessed and not adjourned from the last time they convened on Friday, no immediate roll call was necessary.

State Rep. Will Metcalf (R–Montgomery) made a parliamentary motion “call of the house,” which requires 15 lawmakers to second the motion for passage. The motion was granted, and the resulting vote taken served as the verification of no quorum.

Those present in the House voted 76-4 to deploy the House sergeant-at-arms for all members who are not present and secure a quorum “under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

The four Democrat lawmakers who voted no, who were also the only Democrats in attendance, were State Reps. Ryan Guillen (Rio Grande City), Tracy King (Uvalde), Eddie Morales (Eagle Pass), and John Turner (Dallas).

State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) thereby asked House Speaker Dade Phelan a series of parliamentary questions, which he ended by attempting to make a motion to strip those not in attendance by Wednesday at noon of their committee chairmanships, vice chairmanships, and titles. Phelan did not recognize that motion from the back microphone, causing Tinderholt to approach the House parliamentarians.

Immediately, a gaggle formed at the speaker’s dais. A few minutes later, State Rep. Morgan Meyer (R–Dallas) took to the back mic to ask a series of parliamentary questions while reading from a printout. He finished his line of questioning by asking whether, under the House rules, chairmen and vice chairmen of committees could be stripped of their positions, to which Phelan replied, “No.”

On Monday, Democrat lawmakers left Texas and traveled to Washington D.C. State Republican leaders condemned the action throughout the day, but as quorum had technically not yet been broken, there was little they could do.


The list of Democrat lawmakers not in attendance Tuesday is as follows:

Alma Allen (Houston)
Rafael Anchia (Dallas) –  Chairman: Pensions, Investments, & Financial Services Committee
Michelle Beckley (Carrollton)
Diego Bernal (San Antonio) – Vice Chairman: Public Education Committee
Rhetta Bowers (Rowlett)
John Bucy III (Cedar Park)
Liz Campos (San Antonio)
Terry Canales (Edinburg) – Chairman: Transportation Committee
Sheryl Cole (Austin)
Garnet Coleman (Houston) – Chairman: County Affairs Committee
Nicole Collier (Ft. Worth) – Chairman: Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Philip Cortez (San Antonio) – Chairman: Urban Affairs Committee
Jasmine Crockett (Dallas)
Yvonne Davis (Dallas) – Vice Chairman: Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee
Joe Deshotel (Beaumont) – Chairman: Land & Resource Management Committee
Alex Dominguez (Brownsville)
Harold Dutton Jr. (Houston) – Chairman: Public Education Committee
Art Fierro (El Paso)
Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (San Antonio) – Vice Chairman: Culture, Recreation, & Tourism Committee
Jessica Gonzalez (Dallas) – Vice Chairman: Elections Committee
Mary Gonzalez (El Paso) – Vice Chairman: Appropriations Committee
Vicki Goodwin (Austin)
Bobby Guerra (Mission)
Ana Hernandez (Houston) – Vice Chairman: State Affairs Committee
Abel Herrero (Robstown) – Vice Chairman: Energy Resources Committee
Gina Hinojosa (Austin) – Vice Chairman: Human Services Committee
Donna Howard (Austin)
Celia Israel (Austin)
Ann Johnson (Houston)
Jarvis Johnson (Houston)
Julie Johnson (Carrollton)
Oscar Longoria (Mission)
Ray Lopez (San Antonio)
Eddie Lucio III (Brownsville)
Armando Martinez (Weslaco)
Trey Martinez-Fischer (San Antonio)
Terry Meza (Irving)
Ina Minjarez (San Antonio)
Joe Moody (El Paso) – Speaker Pro Tempore; Vice Chairman: Calendars Committee
Christina Morales (Houston)
Penny Morales-Shaw (Houston)
Sergio Munoz Jr. (Mission)
Victoria Neave (Dallas) – Chairman: Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee; Vice Chairman: General Investigating Committee
Claudia Ordaz Perez (El Paso)
Lina Ortega (El Paso)
Leo Pacheco (San Antonio) – Vice Chairman: Higher Education Committee
Mary Ann Perez (Houston)
Ana-Maria Ramos (Richardson)
Richard Pena Raymond (Laredo) – Chairman: Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee
Ron Reynolds (Missouri City)
Eddie Rodriguez (Austin)
Ramon Romero Jr. (Ft. Worth)
Toni Rose (Dallas) – Vice Chairman: Redistricting Committee
Jon Rosenthal (Houston)
Carl Sherman Sr. (DeSoto)
James Talarico (Round Rock)
Shawn Thierry (Houston) – Vice Chairman: Ways & Means Committee
Senfronia Thompson (Houston) – Chairman: Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee; Vice Chairman: S/C on Constitutional Rights & Remedies
Chris Turner (Grand Prairie) – Chairman: Business & Industry Committee; Chairman: House Democrat Caucus
Hubert Vo (Houston) – Vice Chairman: Insurance Committee
Armando Walle (Houston)
Gene Wu (Houston)
Erin Zwiener (Driftwood)

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.