Texas GOP leadership voted 58-2 on a resolution that calls on Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan — a Republican who was a leading figure in the failed impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — to resign.
Texas Scorecard obtained a copy of the agenda. which was voted on during the Texas Senate Republican Executive Committee (SREC) meeting on Saturday. The resolution cited the Paxton impeachment and appointments of Democrats to key positions as reasoning for bringing the measure forward.
“Speaker Dade Phelan appointed nine (9) Democrats to chair important legislative committees, in direct defiance of the wishes of Republican voters and the Legislative Priorities of the Republican Party of Texas,” the resolution states. “Speaker Dade Phelan ignored or actively undermined several GOP priorities during the regular session, failing to prioritize legislation to secure our borders and elections,” the document continues.
Texas GOP leaders went on to call for “new leadership” in the House of Representatives in order to, “ensure that conservative priorities are achieved and members are no longer pressured to act and vote contrary to the platform, principles, and priorities of the Party they represent and its voters.”
The resolution then formally calls on Phelan to step down from his position. If he refuses to do so, the measure calls on Texas lawmakers to file a motion to vacate the chair and, “allow for a new Speaker who has pledged to honor and support the priorities and principles of the Republican Party to be elected.”
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick stated that Phelan is “undeserving of this leadership position.”
Patrick and Phelan have publicly clashed on numerous occasions since the Paxton impeachment effort failed, with the lieutenant governor accusing Phelan of tarnishing past precedent to pursue a weaponized impeachment. “The Speaker and his team rammed through the first impeachment of a statewide-elected official in Texas in over 100 years while paying no attention to the precedent,” Patrick said during the trial.
He then called for an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would prevent the introduction of impeachment efforts without the hearing of evidence. “Any testimony given in a House impeachment investigation must be given under oath and the target must be allowed to be present with a lawyer to cross examine the witnesses. Otherwise, people can say anything without any accountability or need to be truthful because there is no threat of perjury,” Patrick proposed.
“The House must also give all House members a minimum of 2 weeks to review all evidence given under oath before voting on such a serious matter. Had they done these two things in May, this trial may never have happened.”
Phelan responded by accusing Patrick of bias during the impeachment trial.” I find it deeply concerning that after weeks of claiming he would preside over this trial in an impartial and honest manner, Lt. Governor Patrick would conclude by confessing his bias and placing his contempt for the people’s House on full display,” Phelan wrote. “To be clear, Patrick attacked the House for standing up against corruption. His tirade disrespects the Constitutional impeachment process afforded to us by the founders of this great state. The inescapable conclusion is that today’s outcome appears to have been orchestrated from the start, cheating the people of Texas of justice.”