In response to the big walkout by Texas Democrats, the state’s Republican Speaker of the House Dade Phelan stripped Democrat Joe Moody of his duties as speaker pro tempore.
Phelan cited House Rule 1, Section 10 as grounds of relieving Rep. Joe Moody of his title. That rule says “the speaker shall have the right to name any member to perform the duties of the chair related to presiding over the deliberations of the house and may name a member to serve as speaker pro tempore by delivering a written order to the chief clerk and a copy to the journal clerk.”
Joe Moody responded on Thursday to his relief from duty.
"The most important titles in my life will never change: Dad, Husband, El Pasoan. Nothing political has ever even cracked the top three, so nothing has changed about who I am or what my values are."
It was this past week he spoke about the group’s plea for the Biden administration to enact some kind of federal intervention in Texas.
One NBC reporter notes the punishment to Moody as the first of its kind in response to the Texas Democrats, but they also add Speaker Phelan demanded the group members give back their daily stipends as well.
A related story by Associated Press says the group’s goal is waiting it out in DC until August 7th, when the special legislative session ends. The report says it might be a moot point given Governor Abbott’s ability to call for another session thirty days after.
It was at the beginning of the week that “58 or more” Texas House Democrats fled the state to block the passage of an election integrity bill. A quorum of two-thirds of the legislators need to be present in order to conduct any business, per the state’s constitution.
The move bought a contrast of reactions. At the state level Texas Governor Greg Abbott swore to arrest the Democrat lawmakers who fled in the first place. However the White House said President Biden “applauds the courage” of the Texas Democrats, signaling the federal level approval at the political disruption.
The group of Democrats sang at one point during a press conference this past week.
This comes as the Biden administration’s stance on any attempt at passing election integrity laws is deemed “Jim Crow 2.0.”