House Republicans Agree To Select Speaker Candidate In Caucus

first_img Share Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneState Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, closes the door as the House Republican Caucus prepares to meet in Austin on Dec. 1, 2017.Texas House Republicans agreed Friday to change their rules for selecting the next house speaker, paving the way for a potentially more conservative leader of the chamber in 2019.In a unanimous vote — most of the caucus’ 95 members were present — the caucus decided to meet next December and work to rally around a speaker candidate before going to the full floor, according to lawmakers who emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting Friday afternoon. The caucus will hold additional rounds of voting if a speaker contender does not win two-thirds support on the first ballot.The decision is in line with a proposal the full caucus received last month from a working group looking into the possibility of a bylaws change on the issue. One of the questions that proposal left open — whether the caucus speaker vote should be open ballot or secret ballot — was settled Friday, with legislators agreeing to the latter.The bylaws change has no enforcement mechanism, meaning that there will be no formal consequences for members who vote for a speaker candidate on the floor other than the caucus choice. State Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, said he was not too concerned about that after seeing the unity that the caucus displayed Friday.“I just believe that they will,” Simmons told reporters, referring to GOP members sticking together on the floor. “But there’s no guarantee. Everybody’s their own person. They do what they think is right. I just believe that they will.”The vote comes weeks after House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, made a bombshell announcement that he will not run for re-election next year. At the time, state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, had already announced he was running for speaker for the next legislative session. State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, announced a bid shortly after Straus’ retirement news. Several more lawmakers are expected to enter the race ahead of the 2019 session.The process leading up to Friday’s vote was set in motion earlier this year when the conservative House Freedom Caucus pushed for a meeting of the chamber’s full GOP caucus to start the conversation about the proposal. That discussion continued into the GOP caucus’ retreat in September, when it agreed to assemble a working group to look into the issue.“From the Freedom Caucus perspective, this is a huge win, but it’s a huge win for the whole Republican caucus,” state Rep. Matt Schaefer of Tyler, who chairs the Freedom Caucus, told reporters after the meeting. “I think we knocked the first domino, but the credit goes to a lot of other members who helped the process along.”In addition to the Freedom Caucus, the Republican Party of Texas and its chairman, James Dickey, have also actively pushed the proposal, which meshes with a plank in the party platform. The party is asking candidates to sign a form pledging to support the caucus’ eventual nominee for speaker — a move that has drawn an inquiry with the Texas Ethics Commission about whether it amounts to legislative “bribery.”Appearing at an unrelated event earlier Friday afternoon in Austin, Straus declined to weigh in on the proposal, saying he’s “not in the advice business” when it comes to selecting a speaker during a session in which he will not be a member. But Straus did raise doubts about whether the caucus would stick together on the floor if they managed to settle on a speaker candidate ahead of time.“I’m not sure that anything can be binding, but it sounds like the state party chairman and others are really kind of whipping this thing up, but I would think the wiser approach would be to change the state Constitution,” Straus told reporters after addressing the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. “You can’t bind somebody to vote for a speaker candidate on the floor, so … whatever.”last_img read more

AP PhotoMatt York

first_img(AP Photo/Matt York) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Notable– Our Craig Grialou said he saw Elijhaa Penny line up as a fullback during red zone work.– A couple of the team’s linebackers came up with interceptions, with Scooby Wright plucking a tipped throw and Tre’Von Johnson snagging a ball that was thrown right to him. Sorry, but couldn’t tell which QBs threw the wayward passes.– Sticking with Wright, there was some audible excitement from the Cardinals’ defensive sideline over his level of activity on the field.– Rookie receiver Chad Williams caught a Drew Stanton pass while falling down.– Justin Bethel had another good day, breaking up some passes while making quick tackles on completions he surrendered.– Budda Baker nearly came up with a strip-fumble and recovery after he ripped the ball away from TE Ifeanyi Momah, but much to the dismay of the team’s defensive players, Momah was ruled down on the play. Later in practice Momah was on the receiving end of a Stanton touchdown pass.– Speaking of Penny, on a run to the pylon, he knocked the helmet off cornerback Sojourn Shelton, who came up to try and make the tackle.Injury updateArians said LB Alani Fua and S Ironhead Gallon suffered knee injuries in Monday’s practice, adding they were awaiting MRI results to determine what will happen next. Elie Bouka (ankle) and Jumal Rolle (hamstring) remained out, with their absences expected to cost them each around two weeks. DL Ed Stinson was out with a hamstring issue, while new LB Tevin Floyd also did not practice Tuesday, though the reason for his absence is not yet known.$LB Deone Bucannon (PUP list) and LB Jarvis Jones (NFI) remained out, while WR Larry Fitzgerald, LB Karlos Dansby and DL Frostee Rucker were given the day off.Looking up to FitzThough a rookie, the third-round pick Williams is fairly outspoken and confident in interviews. The situation he finds himself in does not awe him.Apparently the same cannot be said for how he feels about one of his teammates. He said sharing the field with Larry Fitzgerald is “exceptional.”“A guy that I looked up to since I was little,” Williams said. “I could remember mimicking Larry. One time I went on a fishing trip with my dad, and we caught fish and I was trying to catch the fish with one hand like he did on Sport Science at one time.“That’s things I’ve never told him, but those are things I did when I was younger because he was the guy, that’s who I looked up to. Just being able to be on the field with someone like that, it’s amazing.” Williams had nothing but praise for Fitzgerald, who he says is an even better person than he is football player.“He probably has the best character of anyone I’ve ever met,” he said. “Great guy, outstanding; willing to help you learn, willing to do anything, like, he’ll do anything for you. That’s the kind of person he is.”Learning the offenseQB Blaine Gabbert is in his first training camp with the Cardinals, and said Tuesday things are going great. However, the more reps he gets in his new offense, the more comfortable he will be.“It really takes a lot of work at night, in the meeting room, just drawing up the plays, asking some questions and just watching the film to really diagnose things,” he said.For the most part, Gabbert has looked solid in practices. That’s not to say he has not had his rough moments, but he has had his share of positive plays, too.As for being ahead of schedule as his coach has proclaimed, well, that’s not something the former San Francisco 49er and Jacksonville Jaguar is ready to announce.“I’m not the one to judge that,” he said. “I just try and go out and put my best foot forward each and every day. I try and prepare hard the night before but the way you learn the system, the way you master the system is you make mistakes out on the practice field, you watch the film and then you get better the next day. GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tuesday morning, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians praised the majority of his team’s Monday practice, save for the receivers, whom he said had a miserable day with drops.A few more catchable passes hit the turf Tuesday afternoon, though we will have to wait until Thursday to get Arians’ opinion as the team has its first day off of camp scheduled for Wednesday.The Cardinals were in pads again Tuesday but not tackling — Arians said they will save that for next week — so the intensity remained at a pretty high level. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 2 Comments Share Top Stories “We’re in that process right now of getting those reps throughout training camp. If I’m better day 30 than I was day one, that will be a good camp.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more