Straus at center of sudden end to the special session

The fallout from the unexpected and sudden end to the special session is not expected to trigger another call; at least not immediately. Governor Abbott, Wednesday, said he wants lawmakers to think about what happened. He also indicated that a change in house leadership may be necessary.

Members of the Republican legislative caucus met Wednesday morning behind closed doors. When they emerged, few spoke about what was said including Speaker Joe Straus who only offered a brief description.

"Had a good conversation,” said Straus. The Speaker declined to stop and respond to a Texas sized insult made Tuesday night by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. "Thank goodness Travis didn't have the Speaker at the Alamo, he might have been the first one over the wall,” said Lt. Gov. Patrick.

That comment came after the House abruptly ended the Special Session.

The plug was pulled a day early because of an impasse with the Senate over legislation to trigger public votes on local tax increases. The tone was much different Wednesday, even members of the Freedom Caucus.

The group of conservative lawmaker, that has spent the Regular Session and Special Session challenging Speaker Straus, said there were no personal attacks during the caucus meeting.

"So much of the conversation centered on how we can maintain unity as a republican caucus and what kind of process we need to have to do,” said Rep. Matt Schaefer ( R ) Tyler.

As Republicans were trying to mend fences, a coalition made up of Democrats and several liberal organizations, also made a pledge of unity.

The group, called “One Texas Resistance”, plans to become more vocal during legislative sessions.

"Enough is enough, the reckless and deeply cynical assault on Texans rights and dignity must end,” said Kathy Miller with the Texas freedom Network.

Congressman Joaquin Castro, who has been mentioned as a potential candidate for a statewide office, joined the gathering at the capitol.

He criticized the Governor and Lt. Governor for their criticism of speaker Straus. "This is a completely dysfunctional system, that is not working on the issues that matter to the people of Texas,” said Congressman Castro.

Governor Greg Abbott spent the morning being interviewed on talk radio. While on WBAP, Abbot said the Speaker made it clear what he thought about legislation like the bathroom bill.

"The speaker made it very clear that he opposed this bill and that he would never allow it to come up for a vote, and he told me that he was straightforward he told me during the regular session, he was not going to allowed it to come up for a vote, and he told me at that time and a special session he would not allowed it to come up for vote. He told me the same very thing again in the special session that he was not going to allow it to come up for a vote."

The Governor also said before he considers calling another special session, he wants state lawmakers to go home and talk with voters. "If we are going to come here and debate and wind up with the same solution that would be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, and would not be the conservative thing to do."

Speaker Straus issued the following statement to FOX7:

“I enjoyed this morning’s Republican Caucus meeting. It was good to hear from many of our Members, and I’m glad I had the chance to thank them for the work they’ve done and the sacrifices they’ve made. I want to thank Governor Abbott for working with the House on his very ambitious agenda in the special session. We considered every idea carefully, listened to constituents, and acted on a number of critical issues, such as helping retired teachers. House Members voted for new limits on property-tax growth and significant school finance reforms, but in the short time available, we did not reach final agreement with the Senate on those issues. I’m grateful for the Members who fought for school finance reform and other priorities of the Texas House.”

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