Texas GOP Censures Speaker Phelan Over Appointments

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The Orange County Republican Party executive committee voted 14-6 on Thursday evening to censure Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont).

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The grounds for censure in the adopted resolution included Phelan’s appointment of Democratic committee chairs; sustaining a point of order on a border bill that was one of his session priorities; not openly supporting school choice proposals; and allowing a consideration of resolutions on the House floor that recognized “Texas LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce Advocacy Day,” “Texas Latinx Judges Day,” and two attorneys involved in the successful 2015 legal challenge against Texas’ same-sex marriage ban.

The latter resolution was not passed but withdrawn from the calendar on March 16.

“Republican principles of faith, family, and freedom are too important to sacrifice the integrity of the Republican Party,” read a statement from the majority who supported the censure. “We support and affirm the Republican Principles and expect our officials to as well.”

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Phelan spokesperson Cait Wittman told The Texan, “Tonight’s action was nothing more than an orchestrated effort to undermine a Speaker and State Representative who has refused to bend to the will of West Texas billionaires seeking control of House District 21, the House chamber, and our state party.”

“It should be noted that as 14 individuals worked to pass this resolution (in a county of over 80,000 Texans), Dade Phelan was in Austin ushering an $18 billion property tax cut over the finish line in order to deliver the largest property tax cut in state history on behalf of his constituents. This is yet another victory in a long list of conservative achievements this session – achievements that are well in line with the priorities of our local Republican parties. Rep. Phelan looks forward to continuing to fight for the best interests of Orange County, champion conservative causes and deliver results on behalf of House District 21.”

The censure resolution now goes to the GOP’s State Republican Executive Committee for consideration.

The censure is the latest in a series of controversies involving Phelan. In February, he was criticized by some Republicans for his handling of a House floor protest over the state’s transgender sports ban. And in March, he was accused of hypocrisy for voting against a bill that would have banned the use of taxpayer money to promote critical race theory.

Phelan is facing a primary challenge from David Covey, a former Orange County GOP chair. The primary election is scheduled for May 24.

Source: Texan

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