Speaker Joe Straus Makes Only One Vow on Special Session — Texas House Will Be ‘deliberate’

AUSTIN — Speaker Joe Straus is the odd man out. Not keen on school vouchers and unenthused about proposals to hammer mayors, county commissioners and school boards, he sure didn't want to be back in sultry Austin this summer — certainly, not for the "bathroom bill."But Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick eagerly have revived debate of those and other issues, such as abortion and property taxes. Many are important to the staunch conservatives who dominate Texas GOP primaries.Once more, Straus is playing defense. Though he's more experienced than either Abbott or Patrick as a high-impact player at the Capitol, the speaker finds himself reluctantly in the minority among them — and in the spotlight — in the special legislative session that began Tuesday.Asked in an interview to describe his strategy, Straus replied, "Same as it's been — to be deliberate."He dismissed critics' assertions that in this year's regular session, he used stalling tactics to kill bills — and probably will do it again in the special session."Even in the regular session we saw that the House picked up steam and passed probably as many bills as the Senate did," he said. "It's not who passes a bill, it's about who passes a bill that reflects the priorities of the constituents we represent."  Continue reading...

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