Who is standing in the way of Republican-backed measures in Texas? That’d be… Republican members of the Texas House leadership. Education choice and spending limits are wildly popular, but the Texas House isn’t letting either move forward.
As it stands, House Speaker Joe Straus isn’t going to allow either standalone measure to get a full and clean debate on the House floor. It is a failure of leadership, and therefore the definition of a failed legislative session.
Consider just two ballot questions from 2012 Republican primary. These were actual questions on the ballot, not a poll.
“The state should fund education by allowing dollars to follow the child instead of the bureaucracy, through a program which allows parents the freedom to choose their child’s school, public or private, while also saving significant taxpayer dollars.”
That question passed with 84 percent of the vote – that’s 1,176,965 Republicans in favor versus just 219,127 against.
“Out of control spending should be stopped at all levels of federal and state government through constitutional amendments limiting any increase in government spending to be the combined increase of population and inflation, requiring voter approval.”
This question garnered 93.65% of the vote – 1,321,091 Republicans in favor and just 89,648 in opposition.
The Texas Senate has passed legislation (SB4 and SB9) accomplishing both of those items.
There is still time for both measures to move, but history suggests the Straus Team isn’t going to move them. If so, Republican members of the Texas House better be ready to explain why their leadership has been blocking popular GOP reforms.