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El Paso’s Moody stripped of speaker pro tem title due to Texas House Dems walkout

AUSTIN, Texas -- El Paso Democrat Joe Moody was stripped of his position as speaker pro tem of the Texas House on Thursday in the first major backlash for a Democrat who left the chamber to prevent a vote on a GOP priority elections bill.

House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, announced the removal of Moody as speaker pro tem in a memo Thursday morning. He gave no statement but said the removal was effective immediately.

"The most important titles in my life will never change: Dad, Husband, El Pasoan," Moody said in a statement. "Nothing political has ever even cracked the top three, so nothing has changed about who I am or what my values are."

Moody has served as speaker pro tem for two sessions under two speakers. He is one Phelan’s top allies in the Democratic party, and the two have worked together to push bills aimed at making fixes to the state’s criminal justice system.

The speaker pro tem performs the duties of the speaker in their absence. Moody’s appointment to the position was seen as an olive branch by Republicans and raised the El Paso Democrat’s profile and stature in the chamber.

At least 51 House Democrats left the state Monday to break quorum and bring to a halt deliberations on an elections bill they say would restrict voting rights. House Republicans have railed against Democrats, accusing them of walking out on their responsibilities to push their political agenda.

Earlier this week, House Republicans sought to coerce Democrats back to the chamber, with some asking whether lawmakers could be stripped of committee leadership positions for breaking quorum.

Statewide leaders like Gov. Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller endorsed such actions, but Phelan said the lawmakers could not be stripped of committee leadership positions under House rules. The speaker pro tem is a different position from committee leadership roles, and Phelan cited the House rules in his decision to remove Moody.

House Republicans continued filing bills aimed at stripping lawmakers of their pay for breaking quorum. Such bills are not on the special session agenda and could only be taken up by the chambers if Abbott added them to the agenda and a quorum returned.

Separately, Phelan continued to pressure Democrats who broke quorum to return their $221 per diem and blamed them for his chamber's inability to approve an additional check for retired Texas teachers.

"While stalling a 13th check for retired teachers, an overwhelming majority of Texas House Democrats remain silent on whether they will return their legislative per diem to the State Treasury," he said in a statement. "Texas taxpayers demand better, and I demand that Democrats return their legislative per diem and get back to Texas to pass legislation that would provide a 13th check for retired teachers, protect our foster kids, and provide relief from high property taxes."

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Texas Tribune

Comments

14 Comments

  1. And they think what they are doing will gain them what? Fools every one, first they CRY about their plight and then once on the PRIVATE jet with their case of beer they’re all smiles and NO masks, freakin hypocrites all. Joe Moody you sir are nothing more than a lemming follow the dummies around like your lost. liberal’s are a disgrace to the Great State of Texas

    1. They were elected to ensure our elections aren’t secure and transparent and then run away like crybabies when they don’t get their way?

    2. ““Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty was arrested in the Hart Senate Office Building Thursday after she led a group of protesters into the building.”
      Oh no. An insurrection by the dems. Hilarious.

  2. The dems do what they were elected to do? Run and hide? Sounds like liberals. The village idiot odork is out swindling the stupid out of their monies to support these coward clowns

    1. ““Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty was arrested in the Hart Senate Office Building Thursday after she led a group of protesters into the building.”
      Oh no. An insurrection by the dems. Hilarious.

  3. So is this like Rep Joe Moody’s independence
    emancipation ‘June-Tenth’? Is The honorable Joe Moody is no longer Republican ‘Phlegm’s ‘House’-N****.

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