Texas House Members Call for Removal of Speaker Phelan After Paxton Acquittal

Untitled design 15

Following the full acquittal of Attorney General Ken Paxton by the Texas Senate on Saturday, members of the Texas House are calling for the removal of their chamber’s leader. They are being joined in that effort by Donald Trump.

Paxton faced 20 articles of impeachment. Those were rushed before the Texas House in late May following a secret investigation by the General Investigating Committee. The articles followed the same political charges made against Paxton by challengers Eva Guzman and George P. Bush in the 2022 primary election. The political lobby group Texans for Lawsuit Reform fueled those charges with more than $3 million in campaign cash.

House members have said the rushed vote was described on the floor as a “loyalty vote” to Speaker Dade Phelan. In the end, 61 Democrats and 60 Republicans – including Phelan – voted for the impeachment. There were 23 House Republicans who opposed impeachment. One Democrat and one Republican both abstained from voting.

Trump Joins Call for Phelan’s Resignation

Former President Donald Trump has also joined the call for Phelan’s resignation. Trump has been strongly supportive of Paxton throughout the ordeal.

“It is time that Speaker Dade Phelan resign after pushing this Disgraceful Sham!” Trump posted to his own platform, Truth Social.

Political Fallout

The political fallout is already growing from inside the House, where Democrats have long been allowed to select a speaker acceptable to their party. In turn, Republican speakers Joe Straus, Dennis Bonnen, and now Phelan have given Democrats control of key legislative committees.

State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) told Texas Scorecard that Phelan needs to leave office – either voluntarily or by a vote of the chamber.

“I think he should immediately resign, or we should vacate the chair as soon as possible,” said Tinderholt. “He said in his statement that he thanks the ‘brave’ 123 members of the house who pushed for the impeachment. He failed to mention that there were more Democrats than Republicans in that number. That made it a speaker and Democrat-led witch hunt against the most effective attorney general in the country. I also read his disdain for those of us who didn’t do as he wanted. He has destroyed the legitimacy and integrity of the Texas House and the history of it, along with those who serve and have served within its walls for the people of Texas.”

State Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) blasted Phelan on the social media platform X. “Speaker Phelan must step down now for empowering this Democrat effort while killing Republican priorities. I am also demanding the State Auditor investigate how much tax money this wasted.”

What’s Next?

It is unclear whether Phelan will resign or whether he will be removed from office by a vote of the House. However, the political pressure on him is mounting.

Filing for the 2024 primary election begins on Saturday, November 11, 2023, and closes at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Source: Texas Scorecard

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *