Tribpedia: Speaker Of The House

The Texas Speaker of the House is elected on the first day of each regular legislative session by the 150 members of the body. It's a highly powerful position in Texas government. The speaker, along with the governor and lieutenant governor, sets the legislative agenda and rewards his supporters with committee assignments to advance their careers and the interests ...

A Look at the Priority Bills for Straus and Patrick

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

The House speaker and the lieutenant governor traditionally award the lowest bill numbers to measures they view as priorities. Here's a breakdown of House Bills 1-20 and Senate Bills 1-20, providing a window into where House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are placing their political capital for the 84th legislative session.

House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

Analysis: Tension is About More Than Border Security

After Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced a proposal to extend the National Guard's stay along the Texas-Mexico border, House Speaker Joe Straus said in effect that such power only with Gov. Greg Abbott. That's not the only issue causing a potential House-Senate divide.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is shown at the annual alumni Aggie Muster on April 21, 2012, at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is shown at the annual alumni Aggie Muster on April 21, 2012, at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

Analysis: When Right Doesn't Make Might

Republican challenges to sitting Republican speakers of the House could backfire on the renegades — showing them to be far less numerous or politically powerful than they previously appeared. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert mustered just three votes in his challenge to Speaker John Boehner. And state Rep. Scott Turner has gained little public support among House members in his bid to unseat Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, spoke at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth on Aug. 8, 2014.
State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, spoke at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth on Aug. 8, 2014.

In Bid for Speaker, Turner Looks to Beat the Odds

The Texas House hasn't held a contested record vote for speaker since 1975, but state Rep. Scott Turner aims to change that. Turner is looking to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus, who has held the office since 2009. With more than 70 House GOP Caucus members backing Straus, Turner faces an uphill battle. But he is undaunted.

House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner
House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner

Turner Vows Floor Vote in Challenge to Straus

In his bid to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus, Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner is making it clear that he plans to force a vote on the first day of the legislative session. Tea Party activists are strongly backing Turner, and outraged that state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione has switched sides.

House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

Analysis: For Straus, Division Might Be Strength

House Speaker Joe Straus, seeking a fourth term at the helm of the chamber, is facing a challenge from state Rep. Scott Turner. If Straus prevails, he could gain an advantage in setting the agenda for the next legislative session. Everybody else in management — the governor and the lieutenant governor — will be new on the job. 

Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, speaks in the Capitol Rotunda on January 5, 2009 supported by state representatives wishing to elect a new Speaker of the House.
Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, speaks in the Capitol Rotunda on January 5, 2009 supported by state representatives wishing to elect a new Speaker of the House.

Speaker's Original Band of 11 Shrinks to Four

Joe Straus became speaker of the Texas House in 2009 with the help of a relatively small group of Republicans who rebelled against a sitting speaker. Less than five years later, only four of them are left.

House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.

Polling Center: Joe Straus and the Other Republicans

Many statewide Republican candidates are running to the right to position themselves for the primaries, but the Speaker of the House enjoys a rarified position: An office with statewide reach that doesn't appear on the statewide ballot.

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Straus Picks Lead Budget Negotiators

The House sent five members to negotiate a budget with the Senate Monday, with instructions to avoid anything that looks like it would expand the state's Medicaid program. 

House members huddle at dais on February 14th, 2013
House members huddle at dais on February 14th, 2013

First Impressions

Texas Weekly

The Texas House is about to hold its first debate, and on a spending bill, to boot. It will pass, because it must. But watch how they work.