Rep. Brian Harrison calls Texas House a 'corrupt den of liberal dysfunction' after GOP censure

Last week, Texas House GOP leadership censured four House members for campaigning against fellow Republican incumbents.

It comes after a runoff election where House Speaker Dade Phelan narrowly held onto his seat.

Four of Phelan's biggest critics, Representatives Brian Harrison of Waxahachie, Nate Schatzline of Fort Worth, Tony Tinderholt of Arlington and Steve Toth of Spring, received the "condemnation of conduct" from the caucus on Monday for supporting the campaign of challengers who ran against incumbents.

Rep. Harrison spoke with FOX 4's Steven Dial about the censure.


Rep. Brian Harrison

REP. BRIAN HARRISON: "I am unapologetic that I spent this primary season traveling around the state with Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to campaign for real conservatives against fake Republicans who have betrayed their voters. Too much is at stake, quite frankly, for me to care what some social club, caucus organization in Austin thinks about what I'm trying to do, given how much is on the line."

STEVEN DIAL: "Do you think the term fake Republican is a bit of a stretch? I mean, some of these people have been spending a ton of money at the border, passing the heartbeat bill, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, you think these people are fake Republicans?"

REP. HARRISON: "I think many of them, absolutely. I think many of them absolutely are. And I've never said that no conservative bill has ever passed the Texas House. That's what that question would be refuting. That would be an absurd allegation. Of course, some conservative bills have passed the Texas House, but in almost every instance, including the ones you just mentioned, those were done over the objection of these fake Republicans who, quite frankly, would have rather not done those things or slow-walked it for years and years and years. There were only eight legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas asked the Texas House to do last session. The Republican leadership, so-called Republican of the Texas House, said, no, we are not going to do those eight priorities. But what do they do instead? They prioritized over 500 Democrat bills. Our so-called Republican speaker absolutely, a fake Republican." 

DIAL: "So should there be no bipartisanship in Texas? I would rebut with that."

REP. HARRISON: "Yeah, and I get it. I just have to laugh just because you can support bipartisanship, which I do. I have joint-authored bills with some of the most liberal members of the Texas House of Representatives when I saw an opportunity to collaborate to protect liberty, but being bipartisan doesn't mean you put the other team in charge, because if that were the case, why would anybody vote for Republicans if they're just going to put Democrats in charge after they get elected? It makes no sense."

DIAL: "There's a divide in the House GOP caucus, how are you guys going to elect a speaker? I mean, how many days are we going to be in Austin when you guys start next year? There are factions now."

REP. HARRISON: "Quite frankly, [Dade Phelan] should be embarrassed and humiliated with what he had to do to get reelected, but here's the question people should be asking why are Democrats saving Dade Phelan and sending him back to the Texas House? Well, I think the answer is obvious. Democrats reelected Dade Phelan because he empowers them in Austin, and he advances their liberal big government priorities in the Texas House. So what I'm more focused on than the speaker race right now is reforming the Texas House from what it has become under liberal fake Republicans like Dade Phelan and liberal Republicans before him, a corrupt den of liberal dysfunction."

DIAL: "I hear what you're saying, but what Democrat priority has passed? I understand you were retorting with school vouchers were blocked. I totally get that, and some Republicans joined, yeah, I get that, but what Democrat priorities have passed in the House."

REP. HARRISON: "That would take me until tomorrow to get done with that list. Let me give you two statistics. There were only eight legislative priorities that the Republican Party of Texas asked for us to do. Those failed. However, Dade Feeling and his liberal Calendars Committee prioritized over 500. I had my staff look into this very question just the other day, over 500 liberal priorities were put on the floor of the Texas House."

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