Just weeks after an election in which Democrat efforts to turn Texas blue were soundly rejected by voters, conservative grassroots leaders are calling on lawmakers in the state Capitol to start working on passing Republican priorities—beginning with selecting a new speaker of the House. 

In a coalition letter signed by nearly 200 conservative political influencers across the state, the group calls on Republicans in the Texas House to nominate a speaker candidate that will promise the following commitments:

  • Each Republican Party of Texas legislative priority will receive a vote on the floor of the Texas House.
  • All House committees shall be chaired by Republicans and shall be composed of a majority of Republicans.
  • Rules will be amended to require legislation having the support of a majority of the Texas House shall be sent to the floor for a vote.

Though Republicans currently hold an 83-67 majority of seats in the chamber, frustration has grown over the failure of Republican priorities—such as constitutional carry, election integrity, and abolishing abortion—to receive votes on the floor of the House, in part because of bills being sent to Democrat-led committees.

“This Coalition letter clearly spells out what we expect from the Republican legislative majority. We expect results—not excuses. Liberty is losing in Texas and across this nation. If we don’t have Republicans in the legislature who will fight tooth and nail to pass these legislative priorities—most of which are strongly and repeatedly supported by Republican Primary voters—then we have the wrong players on the field,” said Grassroots America – We the People PAC’s Executive Director JoAnn Fleming.

“We call on Republican legislators to step up right now. We want to see bills filed for these priorities—real bills, not fake show bills. And when it comes to the speaker’s race, it is the job of every Republican House member to make sure Democrats are not put in committee chair positions where they will kill these Republican legislative priorities!”

When Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West took aim at State Rep. Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont), the current front-runner for the speaker position, for appealing to Democrats, West took heat from lawmakers, lobbyists, and liberals in Austin. 

Fleming says the group wanted to send the message that conservative Texans agreed with West.

“The conservative grassroots stand with Chairman West, and we intend to do so throughout the session. Republican legislators have a choice,” said Fleming. “If they don’t like public ‘woodshed’ moments, I suggest they make a plan to get these legislative priorities passed.  We’ll be happy to work with them to get the job done. It will be good for liberty and good for Texans. The 87th could be a pleasant one. It’s all up to the Republican members.”

The 87th Legislative Session will begin on January 12, 2021.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens