Texas House Republicans could be moving towards selecting a replacement for House Speaker Joe Straus within the caucus after a workgroup studying the issue released its recommendations.
On Tuesday, House Republican Caucus Chairman Tan Parker released a report written by his appointed working group—an ad hoc assembly of lawmakers including Republican State Reps. Dustin Burrows (Lubbock), Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi), Jeff Leach (Plano), Chris Paddie (Marshall), and John Smithee (Amarillo)—that outlines the “legality, enforceability, procedure, and concept of the Texas House Republican Caucus selection of a nominee for Speaker.”
In a 5-0 vote, the members of the committee not only recommend that caucus members vote to adopt such a procedure, but also supplied sample language that could be added into the House GOP’s bylaws.
In the full report, the group first confirms what grassroots activists have been saying during the entire process is entirely legal.
“There appear to be no legal restrictions on the Caucus selecting or otherwise endorsing a nominee,” they write in the report.
The authors also confirm that such a process is already in place in 39 of the 50 states.
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 Straus used in order to unseat Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland.
Parker has already announced that the next meeting of the House Republican Caucus will be held on December 1, providing lawmakers supporting the change a chance to bring the proposal to a vote.