The Texas Freedom Caucus published a letter that was sent to Representative Tan Parker, Chairman of the Texas House Republican Caucus, this morning asking him to call a meeting of the caucus to develop the procedures for electing a House speaker within the caucus.
The letter, from fourteen House Republican Caucus members, states that Republican legislators should determine their candidate for Speaker in a called meeting of the caucus before the next legislature convenes in 2019.
Members pointed out that the platform of the Republican Party of Texas calls for such a meeting in its platform.
Plank 70 of the platform states:We oppose the use of pledge cards and call of the Republican members to caucus after each November general election to determine by secure secret ballot, their candidate for Speaker. We also call for the Republican members to vote as a unified body for their selected speaker candidate when the legislature convenes in regular session.
Delegates to the Texas Republican State convention approved this plank last May.
The letter goes on to state that there are currently no procedures in place to guide the process by which the House Republican Caucus would elect their candidate for speaker and it requests that Chairman Parker call a meeting to establish this procedure long before the meeting takes place in which nominees are considered.
The letter requests that the meeting, to develop the process, take place before the end of the first special called session which ends on August 16th.
According to Article IV, Section 6.01 of House Republican by laws, members can request that the chair call a meeting of the House Republican Caucus for the purpose of discussion and or adopting a procedure to determine the nominee for Speaker. The Chair then has seven days to respond to the request.
With 95 members of the Republican Party in the 150 member House, Republican caucus members can easily elect the next Speaker of the House.
The last time Republicans attempted to elect a speaker through caucus was back in 2010 when then Rep. Ken Paxton opposed Speaker Joe Straus.
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