Are Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus approaching a Wild West showdown?

Mar 3, 2017

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Credit Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

As expected, the latest legislative session in Texas has been defined by a struggle between the priorities of the House of Representatives, personified by House Speaker Joe Straus, and the aims of the State Senate, represented by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Patrick boasted this week that he had passed all four of the emergency items requested by Gov. Greg Abbott—implying that Straus and the House were moving sluggishly.

Patrick has been open about his dissatisfaction with the House’s resistance to his agenda. And the House has responded in kind, claiming that the Lt. Gov. is trying to bully the House into submission:

“Using a brow-beating approach in governing never bodes well for anybody,” said state Rep. Lyle Larson, a Straus ally .

At the center of the controversy is Patrick’s pet project, the so-called "bathroom bill" that would force transgender Americans to use the restroom that corresponds to their birth certificate. Straus has expressed deep skepticism about the legislation.