While House Speaker Joe Straus has done nothing to conceal his contempt for the conservative senate, the state’s lieutenant governor and the agenda of the governor, he is now using the power of his office to stall more than 100 bills passed by the other chamber.

As of 4pm April 9, some 110 Senate bills are awaiting referral to a House committee for a hearing.

Indeed, Straus is obstructing not only the Senate, but the ability of House members to more easily pass their own legislation under the tight constitutional clock. Straus’ refusal to refer the Senate measures takes away the ability of House members to execute an “over and eligible” procedural move that expedites the legislative process.

This treatment of the Senate isn’t exactly unique; Straus also slow-rolled House bills.

Among the measures passed by the Senate but left stacked at the door of the House are the $4.6 billion in tax cuts passed by the Senate, reforms to transportation funding, improvements to the business tax, and a host of other measures such as “open carry” legislation. On the last point, Straus’ refusal to refer the Senate’s open carry bill impedes the ability of House members to substitute it for HB 910 when that bill comes to the floor next Tuesday.

From his petulant tone at the front end of the session deriding the Abbott/Patrick work on transportation as a “gimmick” to obstructing major Senate measures, Straus seems intent on log-jamming the session.

It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer in Austin…

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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