#OustStraus Movement Gains Momentum in Texas (UPDATED)

Joe Straus no confidence resolution

By Anna Golden

The end of the 85th Legislative Session in Texas ended with more excitement than is customary. Tired of the obstructionism from House leadership, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued an ultimatum to House Speaker Joe Straus. Pass important conservative legislation or the Senate would kill crucial sunset legislation and force a special session. Straus called the bluff only to discover that Patrick wasn’t bluffing. On June 6, Governor Greg Abbott held a news conference to announce that he would call the special session for July 18. In a move that surprised many, the Governor, who was conspicuously absent from Congress during the regular session, laid out 19 legislative priorities he wanted addressed after the sunset legislation was passed. Abbott’s list included many conservative items including property tax relief and pro-life legislation.

Patrick was ready to go and praised the Governor for the call. Straus was less supportive and even suggested that the House would pass the sunset bill and then adjourn. The hashtag #SunsetandSineDie was bandied around by Straus, his henchmen, and the Democrat reps in the Texas House in the days leading up to the start of the called session. Conversely, conservative legislators showed support for Gov Abbott by using the hashtags #20for20 and #PassThemAll. The Senate got started and quickly did the work needed. Within the first week most bills were heard in committee and sent to the floor for a vote. To date, the Senate has passed 18 items while the House has passed only 3. None have made it to Governor Abbott’s desk. Straus is sticking to business as usual with the obstructionism in his chamber and Texans are finally sick of it.

On July 10, just a week before the start of the special session, Bexar County Republican Party officials passed a resolution for a vote of “no confidence” in Joe Straus and called for him to be replaced as Speaker of the House. This was the first major move in what is becoming a state-wide #OustStraus movement. Joe Straus is the Representative for House District 121, which takes up a large portion of Bexar County. The County GOP party cited Straus’ “non-support of the RPT [Republican Party of Texas] platform” as the reasoning for the resolution. This is an especially crushing blow to Straus because most incumbents depend heavily upon the support of their local Republican party groups during campaigns. While this was very welcome news for conservatives across Texas, no one could have guessed that it would start a tidal wave of public outcry against Straus.

As of publishing date, 21 county Republican parties and Tea Parties have passed resolutions against Representative Straus. They are supported by other Republican and Conservative groups in the call to replace him and more resolutions are expected within the month. Those county parties and other groups are:

1) Bexar County GOP 
2) East Texans for Liberty
3) Kaufman County Tea Party
4) Smith County GOP
5) Dewitt County Republican Party
6) Central Texas Republican Assembly
7) Atascosa County Republican Party
8) Wood County Republican Party
9) Rockwall County Republican Party
10) Hood County GOP
11) Jim Wells County GOP board
12) Uvalde County Republican Party
13) Eastland County Republican Party
14) Real County Republican Party
15) Cherokee County Republican Party
16) Van Zandt County Republican Party
17) Titus County Republican Party
18) Comal County Republican Party
19) Kaufman County Republican Party
20) Liberty County Republican Party
Hidalgo County Republican Party

22) Collin County Republican Party
23) Kerr County Republican Party
24) Dimmit County Republican Party
25) We The People – Longview Tea Party
26) Cass County Republican Party 
27) NE Tarrant Tea Party

28) Maverick County GOP
29) Caldwell County GOP
30) Bowie County Patriots
31) Montgomery County GOP
32) Gregg County Republican Party
33) Gillespie County Republican Party
34) Clear Lake Tea Party
35) Denton County Republican Party
36) Hopkins County Republican Party
37) Tom Green County Republican Party
38) Morris County Republican Party
39) Camp County Republican Party
40) Tea Party Patriots of Eastland County
41) McAllen/Hidalgo Tea Party
42) Stephens County GOP
43) Dallas County Republican Party
44) Galveston County Republican Party

45) Henderson County Tea Party
46) Lake Country Republican Club
47) Galveston County Tea Party
48) Edom Tea Party
49) Marsalis Deadwood Texas Tea Party
50) Lamar County GOP
51) Panola County Republican Party
52) San Angelo TEA Party
53) Terrell County Republican Party
54) Mitchell County Republican Party
55) Upshur County Republican Party
56) Cass County Patriots
57) Harrison County Republican Party
58) Nolan County Republican Party
59) Brownsville Tea Party
60) Fredricksburg Tea Party
61) Pecos County Republican Party
62) Panola County Conservatives
63) Red River County Republican Party
64) Travis County Republican Party
65) Erath County Republican Party
66) Val Verde County Republican Party
67) Frisco TEA Party
68) Tarrant County Republican Party
69) Llano County Republican Party
70) Reeves County Republican Party
71) Guadalupe County Republican Party
72) Harris County Republican Party
73) Hill Country Tea Party Patriots of New Braunfels
74) Republican Club of Comal County
75) Corpus Christi Patriots Tea Party
76) Randall County Republican Party
77) Lavaca County Republican Party
78) Chambers County Republican Party
79) Franklin County Republican Party
80) Orange County Republican Party
81) Jasper County Republican Party
82) Brazos County Republican Party
83) Shelby County Republican Party



On August 3, 2017,  members of the Texas Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Texas House Republican Caucus Chairman Tan Parker calling for a procedural meeting to examine the Speaker nomination process. The letter states that “A Republican Speaker of the House should first win the confidence of a majority of his or her fellow Republicans. To do so, Republicans should determine their candidate for Speaker in a called meeting of the House Republican Caucus before the 86th Legislature convenes in 2019. Such a meeting is called for in the Republican Party Platform. ”      Click to read the full letter

Another indicator that the tide has turned against the liberal right’s death grip on the Texas House was a vote today on an amendment presented by Byron Cook to HB25 that would have undone the funding mechanism in place on the bill that was approved by conservative reps. Byron Cook is the chair of the State Affairs committee and the 2nd most powerful representative in the Texas House. Most legislation must go through the State Affairs committee, and a large amount of that legislation is killed there because Straus doesn’t want it to make it to the floor for a vote. 67 Texas Representatives voted against Cook’s amendment and it is seen as a public denouncement of Cook, and by extension Straus, and the rest of the liberal Republicans in the House.

The 2018 primary season was already going to be very exciting, these recent developments in the #OustStraus movement might make it even more so.

Contact your local GOP and Tea Party! Ask them to do a resolution too! Click here for info and sample resolutions!