The Texas House now has a quorum, but it may take time for there to be camaraderie.
“The quorum breaks, this happened in 2003. It took time to heal but it eventually occurred. And members come from very different perspectives. 150 members on the house floor and they each are here to represent their districts. And sometimes we may not agree with one another but eventually, we will get on the house floor and have robust debate that is very respectful and impactful, and we will move on down the road and that is what is going to happen in the coming weeks,” said House Speaker Dade Phelan, (R-Beaumont.)
Now that enough democrats have returned to the capitol, their fight against an elections bill now goes to the House floor.
Phelan expected amendments to be considered when it is debated.
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“To even discuss changes to any piece of legislation you got to be at the capitol here in Austin. I think that the perspective was there is no point in debating a bill on any subject matter when someone is 1700 miles away,” said Phelan.
As for whether there is room for compromise?
“What compromise means to people who don’t like the bill, I just don’t know what that means to them. Can they come and make changes that make the bill you know something that you know, less opposed too, I don’t know. I just don’t see many members who broke quorum voting for the bill, so they just don’t want it to pass regardless,” said Phelan.
The elections bill is just one item on a 17 item agenda.
The House will have to make decisions about pandemic funding, at a time when cases are rising in the state.
“Now that there is an FDA-approved option, I do think we are going to see a great improvement, drastic improvement in our vaccination rate. We know it works. The data just shows it works,” said Phelan.
There are issues within public education to consider, including a proposal that helps districts fund virtual learning. The Senate already passed their bill.
“I have heard from enough members that there should be a virtual option, and I feel like there will be a bill sent to the Governor’s office on that,” added Phelan.