Republicans in Texas are refusing to sit idly by as Democrats escape to Washington, D.C., to break quorum in the Texas House of Legislators. Instead, they are punishing the Democrats who choose to ignore their responsibilities as elected representatives.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced on Thursday that Democrat speaker pro tempore Joe Moody had been relieved of his position as speaker pro tempore, citing Texas House rules. Texas Tribune reporter Cassi Pollock shared the details on social media, writing, “House Speaker [Dade Phelan] has relieved [Joe Moody] from his position as speaker pro tempore.”
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— Cassi Pollock (@cassi_pollock) July 15, 2021
Phelan issued a statement saying, “Pursuant to my power under House Rule 1, Section 10, I have dismissed Representative Joe Moody of his position as Speaker Pro Tempore for the 87th Legislature, effective immediately.”
Moody answered by saying it didn’t disturb him that Republicans in the state legislature had taken away the olive branch provided to Texas House Democrats. Despite the loss of his job, he tweeted a comment declaring that the “essential titles” in his life would never change.
He wrote, “The most essential titles in my life will never change: Dad, Husband, and El Pasoan.” “Nothing political has ever made the top three, so nothing about who I am or what I believe has changed.
The most important titles in my life will never change: Dad, Husband, El Pasoan. Nothing political has ever even cracked the top three, so nothing has changed about who I am or what my values are. #txlege https://t.co/RQ8mozCdwT
— Joe Moody (@moodyforelpaso) July 15, 2021
In addition to losing his leadership position in the House, Phelan issued a lengthy statement chastising his Democratic colleagues for “stalling a 13th check for retired teachers,” and naming each and every Democrat who went to Washington, D.C. while still getting paid public funds to work in Texas.
“Here is my statement regarding individuals who are stalling a 13th check for retired teachers by violating quorum, as well as a list of those who have not taken steps to return their legislative per diem while in Washington,” he tweeted.
‘An overwhelming majority of Texas House Democrats remain mute on whether they will return their legislative per diem to the State Treasury while postponing a 13th check for retiring teachers. Texas taxpayers deserve better, and I demand that Democrats return to Texas and pass legislation that would provide a 13th check to retiring teachers, safeguard our foster children, and provide relief from excessive property taxes.”
He identified each of the state legislators who requested that their House floor voting machines be switched off but had yet to begin the process of returning their salaries to the State Treasury:
Diego Bernal Alma Allen, Rhetta Bowers, John Bucy III, Sheryl Cole, Garnet Coleman, Nicole Collier, Philip Cortez, Jasmine Crockett, Yvonne Davis, Joe Deshotel, Arthur Fierro, Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Jessica Gonzalez, Mary Gonzalez, R.D. Guerra, Ana Hernandez, Gina Hinojosa, Donna Howard, Celia Israel, Ann Johnson, Jarvis Johnson, Julie Johnson, Ray Lopez, Trey Martinez Fischer, Thresa Meza, Ina Minjarez, Joe Moody, Christina Morales, Penny Morales Shaw, Victoria Neave, Claudia Ordaz Perez, Mary Ann Perez, Ana-Maria Ramos, Richard Pena Raymond, Ron Reynolds, Eddie Rodriguez, Ramon Romero Jr., Toni Rose, Jon Rosenthal, Carl Sherman Sr., James Talarico, Shawn Thierry, Srenfonia Thompson, Chris Turner, Hubert Vo, Armando Walle, Gene Wu, Erin Zweiner.
Phelan said in a separate statement that he is chartering a jet to be on standby in Washington, D.C. to compel Democrats to return to Texas. on Saturday, and instructs them to contact his staff to reserve a spot on the plane so they may return to Austin to conduct state business.
He stated, “The State of Texas is waiting.”