The Texas Republican Speaker of the House, Joe Straus, just came out in an interview and said NO to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on passing any bathroom bills, end of discussion, move on!
As I quoted in a previous article (link), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had threatened Speaker Straus of the Texas House saying, “If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills…plus other legislation he has voiced support for … in that special session call. If the bills don’t pass in the special and they’re blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again,” to which Speaker Straus replied “My experience in the House is that the House doesn’t take to threats terribly well. I’m not ready to even talk about a special session. I’m ready to talk about working on one another’s priorities, trying to come together the way the system was built to be.”
Speaker Straus said the House will not appoint members to negotiate with the Senate on its proposed compromise on a “bathroom bill.” The House had tried to offer what they thought was a compromise when they attached an amendment to SB 2078 that originally was a “multi-hazard emergency operations plans” which originally pertained to the regulation of school districts’ emergency response plans in cases of natural disasters, active shooters and other “dangerous scenarios.” (link) The House added language that would require K-12 schools to provide single-stall restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities to a student “who does not wish” to use facilities designated by “biological sex.”
When this bill was returned to the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who has spent months championing far-reaching restrictions on bathroom use said the amendment’s “ambiguous language” didn’t “appear to do much.” The Texas Senate said a definite NO to the bill.
So that’s where we stand. A Texas game of chicken!! The House and Senate will work out a compromise on SB 2, a property tax bill. However, Speaker Straus will let Lt. Gov. Patrick call as many special session that he can convince Governor Abbott to call. The Lt. Gov. does not have the power to call a special session and when you factor in the issue that it costs us, the Texas taxpayers, over one million dollars a month special sessions are rarely called.
Once again I’ll keep you informed as we see who wins this game of chicken. Governor Abbott already got his so called “Big Win” with SB 4, the “Sancturary City-Show Me Your Papers” bill which will most likely go on to the Supreme Court. Lt. Gov. Patrick will get SB 2 passed which is one of the two bills he said would kick the Texas Legislature into a special session if not passed by May 31st.
But for me, my new “Republican Hero”, and I don’t have many, is Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus. If you want to message him on Twitter and thank him his twitter account is @SpeakerStraus. Thank him for standing up to Dan Patrick and telling him emphatically NO on any form of “Bathroom Bill.”