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Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen Stacked Key Committee with Democrats

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Big League Politics has learned that Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen stacked the most important committee for moving legislation with a solid majority of non-Republicans, dooming many Republican bills to die.

 

Big League uncovered the revelation while reporting on why the Texas House Calendars Committee just killed the popularly-supported monuments protection bill, HB 583 — arguably an odd outcome for an ostensibly Republican-controlled Texas House with an 83-to-67 majority.

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The committee in question is the final destination for ALL legislation in the Texas House of Representatives, and is often cynically referred to as “the place good bills go to die.”
Section 15. Standing Committee Appointments — (a) The speaker
shall designate the chair and vice-chair of each standing substantive
committee and shall also appoint membership of the committee, subject to
the provisions of Rule 4, Section 2.

(b) If members of equal seniority request the same committee,
the speaker shall decide which among them shall be assigned to that
committee.

(c) In announcing the membership of the standing substantive
committees, the speaker shall designate which are appointees and which acquire membership by seniority.

(d) The speaker shall appoint the chair and vice-chair of each standing procedural committee and the remaining membership of the committee.

(e) If a new speaker is elected to fill a vacancy in the office after the
appointment of standing committees, the new speaker may not alter the composition of any standing committee before the end of the session, except that the new speaker may:

(1) vacate the new speaker’s membership on any committee;
(2) make committee appointments for the member who was
removed as speaker;
(3) designate a different member of a standing committee as
committee chair; and
(4) fill vacancies that occur on a committee.
(Source: page 10 and page 28 of the official House Rules manual.
While there’s no “majority” of Democrats on the committee, the case can be made that there’s not a “majority” of Republicans, either. Several members of the Texas House, who shall remain anonymous, confirmed that Speaker Bonnen stacked the committee to favor a less conservative composition — with a 5-5 partisan split (not counting Chairman Four Price’s tie-breaking vote).
The maximum majority possible would be 7-4 (but for some reason, Bonnen only allowed for a 6-5 majority, again counting Committee Chmn. Four Price.) It is widely known Bonnen and Four Price were the two former Speaker Joe Strauss was grooming as his replacement.
That means that at least one or two Republicans had to vote against monument protection legislation (and other conservative priority bills) for them to fail.
Where it concerns committee appointments, one House member stated, “After the half by seniority the rest are up to the speaker.”
The Speakers usually don’t stack the deck but could. But this rule does not apply to the Calendars Committee, explained the same House member to Big League Politics. “The calendar committee is all speaker chosen,” he remarked, adding that, “Seniority doesn’t apply to procedural committees like calendars.”
House majority breakdown versus minority:
(Source: Texas House of Representatives, official website.)
Per state rules, committees of the Texas House of Representatives are assigned half by seniority and half by the Speaker of the House. Representatives select three committees they wish to serve on, and half of a committee’s seats are filled in this manner based on seniority. In the case of equal seniority, the Speaker decides the seat. Once half of each committee is selected through this method, the Speaker appoints the rest of the committees.
Committees are assigned at the start of each legislative session. A majority of appointed members make up a committee’s quorum. The Speaker is not recognized as an “ex officio” member of any committee.

Big League Guns

Merrick Garland Suggests that Getting Rid of Lawsuit Protections is Not a Second Amendment Violation

Garland as AG will be a disaster for the right to bear arms.

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If Merrick Garland is nominated as Attorney General, the Second Amendment is in big trouble.

Based on his comments at a Senate hearing on February 22, 2021, Garland made a suggestion that the repeal of lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers is not unconstitutional. 

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News reminded his readers that President Joe Biden campaigned on a platform of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shielded lawful gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

In a previous Breitbart News report, Biden spoke at an MSNBC forum in 2019 alongside gun control organizations such as March for Our Lives where he expressed his support for gun manufacturers to be subject to lawsuits.

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At the speech, Biden suggested that the PLCC be repealed. He declared, “No other outfit in history has gotten this kind of protection” and asserted that the legal actions would bring about “change overnight.”

In a subsequent occasion on February 7, 2020, Breitbart News covered Biden’s remarks to a New Hampshire crowd, in which he stated that it was a “mistake” to shield firearms manufacturers from lawsuits. He continued, “The first thing I’m going to do as president is work to get rid of that.” 

Later that month, Breitbart News recalled how Biden called out gun manufacturers at a South Carolina rally and boasted, “I’m going to take you down.”

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Senator Mike Lee asked Garland about his views on removing protections for gun manufacturers. Garland responded, “I have not thought myself deeply about this. I don’t think it raises a Second Amendment issue.”

When he was questioned if he is in favor of Biden’s plans to ban so-called “assault weapons”, Garland responded, “Where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”

Biden’s track record as a gun control proponent is well-documented. From his support of gun-free zones at schools to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, Biden is Gun Control Inc.’s guy. With Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, there will most certainly be attempts to ram gun control down our throats. If they can’t beat us legislatively, they will most certainly use the courts to undermine the Second Amendment. Pro-gun organizations should be ready to lawyer up and use whatever means possible to keep courts from destroying our rights.

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