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Republicans control the Texas Senate.
Republicans control the Texas House.
Republicans set the calendar.
Republicans set the speaker.
Republicans set the agenda.
But let's add one more thing to that list in regards to speed this session.
Republicans set the pace of progress. And it's been slow since January.
Ever since the Speaker's Race, we've see a general lazy pace of legislation. It began with a late appointment of committee chairs and members and continued with the slow pace of getting any legislation passed out of the house until halfway through session.
But now Republicans are wanting to blame Democrats for not allowing them to get as much done as they wanted. Democratic Caucus Chair Jim Dunnam calls them out on who started the slowdown.
Texas Observer: “We didn't take up bills on the House floor until maybe latest point of any session,” Dunnam said. “Why wasn't insurance reform on the house floor weeks ago? Why wasn't the windstorm insurance bill on the floor weeks and weeks ago? Why'd we go home last week every day at 6 or 7 o'clock so that committees could go have dinner? And then turn around and say that [Democrats] are wasting time? Those were decisions that the Speaker made.”
Of course, Democrats have offered over a half dozen times to take up many of the other issues that Republicans placed behind Voter ID on the calendar. Yet, Republicans each time have refused to move forward and debate the very bills they are whining about being killed. That's because in the end, they have bills that they want to kill to, but just don't want to be responsible for killing.
“[Republicans] are offering no compromise. They seem to be very pleased with the way things are going. I think that it's clear, from what they've told me, that it's because they don't want to get to the insurance reform bill.”
House Republicans, led (or not led depending on how you look at it) by Speaker Straus are obstructing ruling on the points of order announced against the Voter ID bill. By withholding that information, they are now hiding behind the Democrats. They are in control of obstructing movement on the calendar.
Voter ID is nothing other than a raw political tool by Republicans to extend their lease on life for a few more years. Need we be reminded by this report by Elise Hu from 2008 that previewed this fight over a year ago?