A coalition of the Texas’ most prominent grassroots organizations called for members of the House Republican Caucus to amend the party’s bylaws to change the speaker selection process and announced they would withhold support from lawmakers who failed to commit to doing so.
In a public letter spearheaded by JoAnn Fleming of Grassroots America We The People, the signers conclude thusly:
“We are tired of Republicans running as conservatives, but after being elected, legislating like Democrats and being proud of it! Therefore, the following statement represents our strong intention to hold Republican candidates for the Texas House accountable for their actions:
Our organization will not support any Republican Candidate for the Texas House, incumbent or challenger, who does not support amending the House Republican Caucus bylaws to require the nomination of a Speaker Candidate in the Caucus and to require all Republicans vote as a block for that candidate on the House floor when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes in 2019.”
The letter, which includes Tim Lambert of the Texas Homeschool Coalition, Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life, Trayce Bradford of Texas Eagle Forum, and over seventy other organizations and leaders, is merely the latest development of an ongoing effort to change the caucus rules, an effort which began with a Texas Freedom Caucus letter back in August, and has been steadily progressing ever since.
In October, the House Republican Caucus’ workgroup released their proposal and unanimously recommended a process be adopted. And earlier this month, RPT Chairman James Dickey called on citizens to demand Republican lawmakers to support the party platform and change the process.
If the caucus were to adopt the procedures outlined in the report, Republican members of the Texas House would meet internally to select their nominee for House Speaker and require a lawmaker to obtain majority support within the caucus.
Such a change should prevent liberal Republicans from forging alliances with Democrats in order to gain the Speaker’s gavel—the tactic that House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) used in order to unseat Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland.
House Republican Caucus Chairman Tan Parker (Flower Mound) has already announced that the next meeting of the caucus will be held on December 1.