New state Rep. Mayes Middleton wasted little time introducing himself to his colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives, although his first proposal in the lower legislative chamber fell flat.
Middleton, a Chambers County Republican, was elected in November to represent Texas House District 23. He was sworn in Tuesday and was not shy about standing in front of the House during its first full day of work Wednesday.
As the House was debating its governing rules for the session, Middleton proposed an amendment setting three-year term limits for the Speaker of the House and committee chairmen.
“This is a promise I have made my constituents,” Middleton said, before referring indirectly to former Speaker of the House Joe Straus. “This is something they would like to see done.”
Straus, who retired from the legislature this year, served 12 years as speaker.
The House voted down the amendment 128-11.
Freshman legislators usually don’t carry much sway, and are sometimes the target of hazing by their colleagues when it comes time to pass their first piece of legislation. It will be interesting to watch how Middleton — who ousted incumbent Republican state Rep. Wayne Faircloth and received an endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — navigates his first session.
On Twitter, Cary Cheshire, the vice president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, an arm of the conservative Empower Texans group, said he was proud to see Middleton reject the idea “that freshman legislators should ‘sit down and shut up’ their first session.”
Middleton has served as a board member for the Empower Texans Foundation. Unsurprisingly, the 11 representatives who voted for Middleton’s amendment are also connected to Empower Texans.
WEBER MEMES ABOUT BORDER
Hours before President Donald Trump made his speech Tuesday night about the border, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber posted a meme on his Facebook page that stated: “If government shutdown scares you but terrorists coming across our border doesn’t, you’re a special kind of stupid.”
Weber called it “pure Texas logic.”
Until Tuesday, Republicans, including Trump, had claimed terrorist groups were using the U.S.-Mexico border. Those claims were widely disputed by news organizations — citing Trump’s own government.
The Associated Press wrote Monday that a September report from the U.S. State Department said there was “no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”
Trump didn’t mention terrorism during his Oval Office speech. The meme had disappeared from Weber’s Facebook page by Wednesday morning.
In a written statement, Weber praised Trump’s speech as “straightforward and to the point.”
“Our nation must secure its borders,” Weber said. “Additional resources are needed to ensure the safety and security of all involved. To deny this request is to put our fellow Americans, our border and law enforcement agents and those truly seeking refuge at risk.”
Michelle Slaughter, the former Galveston district court judge elected in November to the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, will be sworn in Friday. ... Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had not as of Wednesday morning appointed a judge to fill Slaughter’s seat on the 405th District Court. ... The Texas legislative session ends in 127 days.