FederalCongressman Tony Gonzales Vows Opposition to Rules Reform, Calls Fellow Republicans ‘Insurgents’

A Texas Congressman who is critical of his Republican colleagues may be the lone GOP opponent to conservative rules reforms in the U.S. House.
January 9, 2023
The U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes Monday afternoon for the first time since the historic deadlock on the House speaker race forced an agreement to demands by 20 conservative lawmakers, and now one Texas congressman says he plans to oppose those reforms. 

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) appeared on two separate political talk shows Sunday in which he repeated his intent to oppose a rules package that establishes the guidelines governing the legislative chamber. 

Speaking to Fox and Friends, Gonzales claimed that the proposal would “cut defense spending” and added that he was opposed to restoring the motion to vacate the chair — a historic rule often attributed to President Thomas Jefferson that allows any single member to challenge the speaker and had been in place since 1801 until former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-08) removed it in 2019. 

Gonzales declined to attack other Republicans during the Fox interview, telling the hosts, “You know I don’t like to attack my colleagues” when asked if he shared the view that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01) was a “total fraud.” 

However, during an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation, Gonzales took aim at the 20 Republican holdouts, characterizing the group as “the insurgency caucus” which was followed with a tweet depicting Gonzales during his military service in the middle east writing, “I have fought insurgents my entire adult life.” 

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Gonzales expanded on his attacks in the CBS interview, accusing the 20 Republicans of planning to push “anti-immigrant” legislation under the guise of border security policy. 

“[I]f this insurgency caucus decides to put anti-immigrant legislation on the floor and masquerade it as border security policy, that’s not going to fly,” Gonzales said. 

As of publication, Gonzales’s office has not responded to The Texan’s requests for specificity on the “anti-immigrant” legislation to which he refers.  

Part of the rules reform agreement includes prioritizing passage of the Texas Border Security Plan; legislation developed and released last month by every Republican congressional member from Texas, with the exception of Gonzales. 

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) blasted claims that the reforms he and the other 19 Republicans negotiated with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) would cut defense spending, writing “That’s a lie!” and explained the deal would only cut non-defense discretionary spending, and pointed out that federal bureaucracy spending as “far outpaced” federal defense spending in recent years.

“In fact, there was broad agreement spending cuts should focus on NON-DEFENSE discretionary spending,” Roy wrote in a statement, adding, “This means cutting funding for the woke & weaponized bureaucrats that received massive increases under the $1.7 trillion omnibus.” 

The House is set to gavel in at 5:00 p.m. ET Monday to begin the process of adopting the rules package that will govern all proceedings in the chamber for the duration of the 118th session of Congress. 


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Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.