Last week, freshman State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) drew the ire of some of his Republican colleagues for proposing an amendment to the Texas House rules that would have prevented Democrats from chairing key legislative committees.
Now he’s fighting back.
Appointing Democrat committee chairs despite a Republican majority in the House has been a strategy used for years to prevent conservative priorities, such as constitutional carry and the pro-life heartbeat bill, from coming to the floor for a vote.
Slaton’s amendment to limit the chairs of certain major committees to members of the majority party failed, with only 17 of the chamber’s 150 members eventually supporting the proposal.
Enter State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R–Odessa).
After voting against the amendment, Landgraf was asked by on a constituent on his Facebook page to justify his vote.
Landgraf replied by claiming it was filed “without notice at the last minute” and was a “trap” to turn “Texas into Washington D.C.”
Slaton took to his own Facebook page to record a video setting the issue straight.
“There’s a representative from West Texas, Brooke Landgraf, who has decided to lie and disparage me and my intentions in filing this,” Slaton says in his 10-minute video posted on Monday.
Though Landgraf—who served on the working group that crafted the rules—claimed the amendment was brought without notice, Slaton revealed an email from December 11, in which the House Parliamentarian confirmed receipt of Slaton’s proposal.
The day before the rules debate, Slaton said, several Republicans called him into their office to ask him to pull his amendment down and instead use it as a bartering tool, during which time he was informed that Landgraf knew about his amendment.
Slaton also pointed towards another amendment he offered, which would have prevented the House from renaming highways until a bill to abolish abortion was offered. When State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) attempted to add more Republican priorities to the bill, Landgraf called a point of order to stop his amendment.
And despite originally voting yes on Slaton’s pro-life amendment, Landgraf changed his vote in the journal on that amendment to a no as well.
“It’s very unfortunate he’s decided to do this. I personally think he needs to apologize to the people he’s lied to. He also needs to apologize to me. I care about Texas, I care about our values,” Slaton concluded. “If we’re going to move forward while Washington DC is going bonkers, we have to stand together as Republicans. We can’t lie and we can’t do crap like this.”