The solidly-Republican Texas Legislature isn’t exactly known for bipartisanship these days, although some alliances still exist. Now, an increasing number of House Republicans are calling to strip away one of the few remaining bipartisan traditions.
“The Texas House has a long history of bipartisanship working across party lines,” says political reporter James Barragán, noting that traditionally, Republican House Speakers still elect Democratic House members to chair committees.
“That’s been a big point of discussion, a point of debate for Republicans,” Barragán says, “particularly more conservative, far-right Republicans who say that the party in power should hold all the cards – that they shouldn’t be extending the olive branch to Democrats.”
While Barragán says House Speaker Dade Phelan “has given no indication that he plans to change the tradition that has been longstanding in the House,” he notes there “is considerable pressure on him – so it’s something we’re watching.”
For more stories from the week in Texas politics, including a recount in a hard-fought state Senate race, and a Texas connection to disgraced Bitcoin tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried’s political spending, listen to the interview in the audio player above.