Conservative faction in Texas House revolts

May 14, 2017

The Texas Freedom Caucus in a hastily called press conference telling the press their intent to kill bills on the Local and Consent calendar in retaliation for what they say is unfair treatment during the House session on May 11, 2017.
Credit Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Tensions in the Texas Legislature have been simmering this session, as the moderate leadership in the state House of Representatives has clashed with more conservative factions within their own rank and file, as well as the staunchly right-wing Senate of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Last week, reports The Texas Tribune, the antagonism reached a boiling point. Twelve of the most conservative members of the House, who’ve formed a group known as the Freedom Caucus, revolted against moderate House speaker Joe Straus and his moderate cohort.

The group announced a plan to scuttle more than 100 proposed bills.

The move is being called the Mother’s Day Massacre. It’s an effort by the caucus to stake a claim for their agenda, and it marks an unprecedented fusillade of intra-party aggression against Straus.

Republican State Rep. Dan Huberty, called the actions of the caucus “the most egregious [show of defiance] I’ve ever seen,” adding that the caucus’s move was “Unbelievably disappointing.”

The Freedom Caucus implied that they’re just getting started, so Texas may be entering a period of gridlock to match the perpetual congestion in the U.S. House of Representatives.