Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan stripped El Paso Democrat Rep. Joe Moody from his leadership position as speaker pro tempore in response to the group of Democratic lawmakers fleeing to Washington, D.C. earlier this week to break quorum in protest of a GOP voting bill.
“Pursuant to my authority under House Rule 1, Section 10, I have relieved Representative Joe Moody from his position as Speaker Pro Tempore for the 87th Legislature, effective immediately, Phelan wrote to the chief clerk of the House.
Moody appeared unfazed by the move.
“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,” he tweeted.
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. #txlege https://t.co/RQ8mozCdwT— Joe Moody (@moodyforelpaso) July 15, 2021
Phelan also said Thursday he will charter a plan to be “on standby” in D.C. to bring the Democratic lawmakers back to Austin.
"I am demanding all of our colleagues in D.C. to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state's business," he said in a statement. "The State of Texas is waiting."
Phelan has called on the Democratic lawmakers to return their per diem pay to the State Treasure and outed those who have not so far.
Here’s my statement about those who are stalling a 13th check for retired teachers by breaking quorum and a list of those who have not taken steps to return their legislative per diem while they are in Washington. #txlege pic.twitter.com/adCCp99fwR— Dade Phelan (@DadePhelan) July 15, 2021
“Texas Democrats currently in Washington continue to collect their legislative per diem of $221 during regular and special sessions, which equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars during the course of this special session,” he stated.
“While these Texas Democrats collect taxpayer money as they ride on private jets to meet with the Washington elite, those who remain in the chamber await their return to begin work on providing our retired teachers a 13th check, protecting our foster kids, and providing taxpayer relief. Those who are intentionally denying quorum should return their per diem to the State Treasure immediately upon receipt.”