Earlier today, current Texas House Speaker Joe Straus filed paperwork that would enable him to campaign for re-election as speaker upon the conclusion of the legislative session. While not unexpected, the timing would indicate that he feels like he is in a position to secure votes from fellow Republican for having not caved on Voter ID, and killing off debate and passage of Rick Perry's “do not want” bill regarding unemployment insurance.
Of course, all of the following items were as a result deemed less important than Voter ID. Straus and the GOP set the agenda. They, along with the actions of Senate Republicans at the start of session, took actions which had a cascading effect across the legislative calendar.
* The electric co-op reform bill
* Eminent domain
* Averitt's clean air bill
* TDI sunset
* Enabling legislation for $5 billion in highway construction bonds
* Informed consent for abortion
* Solar energy incentive program
* Windstorm insurance (Hurricane season begins Monday)
* Dewhurst's overhaul of health care (SB 6, 7, 8 )
* Unemployment insurance
* Flores' enabling act creating a homestead exemption for disabled veterans
* Criminal asset forfeiture reform (to prevent the abuses that took place in Tenaha)
* Constitutional authorization for bonds for water projects and the state water plan
* Watson's renewable energy bill
So if you were to ask, what is is the House that Straus built- it's constructed of just one brick called Voter ID. Oh, and maybe a budget. But that's about it.