Joe Straus Files for Re-Election as House Speaker

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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.

For other thoughts on what this might mean moving forward, I'll point you to read replies by Off the Kuff and Burka.


About Author

Former Publisher & Owner of the Burnt Orange Report. Political Thinker, Digital Explorer, and Time Traveler.


  1. I Think It Is Useful To Recall
    That Texas Liberal said from Day One that one Republican Speaker was as lousy as any other Republican Speaker.

    The blogger mainstream told me I was wrong—but I stood my ground and asserted that any Republican House Speaker was as bad as any other Republican Speaker.

    And so as Senator Goldwater once said–In your heart you know I'm right.  

    • Straus has a chance to prove himself
      He could have just as easily negotiated a compromise on this bill, or he could have taken it off the table or not placed it at the front of the line which he knew would have the effect of knowingly endangering everything on the calendar.

      In fact, for much of the house session up until this last week, I'd argue that he was coming along with a rather decent legacy, one that probably would have garnered him plenty of votes for Speaker next year.

      I'm less interested in who can claim “I was right” in the outcome of all this because that supposes we should not have challenged Craddick. That was still the right thing to do and that happened with the full knowledge that what we ended up buying may or may not have been better, but it certainly couldn't be worse.  

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