The Republican Party of Texas is amplifying efforts to end the practice of awarding Democrats leadership positions in the Republican-led state legislature.

Late last month, the Texas State Republican Executive Committee, the governing body of the state party, met and discussed several issues to be dealt with in the upcoming legislative session. One of the topics discussed was banning Democrat chairmanships.

The body unanimously supported a resolution calling for an end to the practice.

For years, Texas has given the minority party seats as chairmen in the Texas House of Representatives and Senate. This means that despite the Republican majority, Republicans don’t have total control over the fate of legislation. This has caused issues with the passing of countless conservative bills, such as the Heartbeat Act, bills regarding the right to bear arms, bills to halt child gender mutilation, and public education bills.

Republicans say this practice must be put to an end so the majority once again rules the House.

Last year, State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) pushed a proposal that would prevent Democrats from receiving committee chairmanships. This proposal was killed as soon as it was presented to the House, leading Slaton to say, “Republicans are more upset about this than Democrats.”

More Republicans in the Texas House would rather have Democrats as chairmen than themselves,” added Slaton.

Since then, movement on the issue has only intensified.

In March, more than 80 percent of Republican voters supported a ballot proposition asking voters if the practice should be ended.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi has also been vocal on the issue, saying at the recent Texas GOP convention, “We need to take the fight directly to the left and go on offense.”

Despite the grassroots support on the issue, there is still backlash from some Republican state representatives.

Current Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) has continued defending his practice of giving Democrats committee chairmanships and refuses to acknowledge that these Democrat chairmen have shut down countless conservative bills.

State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) has also defended this practice, saying some Democrats are better suited for the job than some Republicans and, therefore, the practice should continue.

Recently, State Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant) also defended giving the minority party chairmanships, arguing that to do otherwise would lead to Texas being run similarly to Washington, D.C.

The State Republican Executive Committee, however, is fighting back against those arguments.

In its resolution, the SREC explained that, previously, when the Democrat Party wasn’t as aggressive and left-leaning, the practice served to promote civility and bipartisan goodwill.

However, while conservatism has remained steadfast with values and principles remaining godly and righteous, “the Left has moved further and further leftward towards socialism, secular humanism, and Marxist state control, including the degradation of morality and promotion of Godlessness.”

When brought to a vote, the SREC passed the resolution unanimously.

The committee finalized the resolution by establishing its goal of sending the resolution to the “Governor of Texas, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, each Republican State Representative, and the Speaker of the Texas House, requesting an acknowledgement of receipt, a positive declaration of support of this legislative priority, and an articulation of actions the elected official plans to take during the next session regarding this legislative priority.”

The upcoming legislative session is set to begin on January 10, 2023.

Soli Rice

A fall writing fellow for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.

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