The Back MicThe Back Mic: Speaker Phelan Reviews the Session, Democrats Listed Who Didn’t Break Quorum, Morgan Luttrell Launches Bid for Congress

This week — a look at Texas politics as the 87th Regular Legislative Session closes out.
June 4, 2021
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Speaker Phelan Responds to Lt. Governor’s Criticism

On the Chad Hasty radio program, House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) addressed Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s finger-pointing about the death of the elections omnibus bill.

Since Democrats broke quorum in the House, Patrick has blamed Phelan for putting the bill in a position to be killed.

“If anyone wants to complain about scheduling in the House,” Phelan responded, “I lay the blame right at the feet of the Senate, for giving us the conference committee report so late and filled with so many errors.”

Phelan said previously the House identified 12 point of order vulnerabilities in the language the Senate was responsible for laying out.

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The speaker also shed light on the meeting he had with the House Democratic Caucus shortly before the exodus, saying he warned the group, “If you walk out tonight, we’re going to have a special session. If you do this, we will still get [this elections bill] done and you will lose things you like, too.”

Among the casualties included a few health care and criminal justice priority bills — but that appeal did not persuade the group.

In all, Phelan feels bullish about session’s results, telling Hasty, “I feel fantastic about the session — given what we were up against with the pandemic and the February winter storm.”

The speaker further emphasized his confidence that election integrity legislation will be approved during the impending special session — but stipulated he prefers to do it in piecemeal fashion rather than in an omnibus bill.

List of House Members Who Did Not Break Quorum

Texas House Democrats gained national attention when most of their caucus walked out of the chamber on the final night of the 87th Legislative Session, breaking quorum to kill the session’s elections omnibus bill.

After a motion to excuse speaker pro tem Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), the body could not continue for the remainder of its proceeding ahead of the midnight deadline and so it adjourned — and with it, brought down the proverbial guillotine on priority legislation like the elections bill and bail reform.

Below is a list of the Democratic members that did not leave the chamber to break quorum according to the House journal:

  • Harold Dutton (D-Houston)
  • Bobby Guerra (D-Mission)
  • Eddie Morales, Jr. (D-Eagle Pass)
  • Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo)

Four Democrats were absent but excused for earlier in the day before the walkout:

  • Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)
  • Abel Herrero (D-Robstown)
  • Oscar Longoria (D-Mission)
  • Eddie Lucio, III (D-Brownsville)
Retired Navy Seal and Brother of ‘Lone Survivor’ Inspiration to Run for TX-08

Morgan Luttrell — a former Navy Seal, friend of former Governor Rick Perry, and brother of Marcus Luttrell, inspiration for the movie ‘Lone Survivor’ — has declared his candidacy for Texas’ 8th Congressional District.

The seat will be open since incumbent Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) announced he’d forgo re-election in April.

Following 14 years in the military, Luttrell retired and later served as a special advisor to then-Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry during the Trump administration. While there, he “led the creation of the Artificial Intelligence and Technologies Office to ensure America continued to outpace Russia and China in the development of machine-learning technology.”

“Our freedoms are under the constant threat of the socialist agenda,” Luttrell said in a release.

“The radical left is waging a culture war on Texans very way of life. We can’t allow the conservative values we’re teaching our children to be threatened by Washington, DC. As your Congressman, I will bring bold leadership and always put America first.”

Currently, seven other GOP candidates have filed for the race.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.