President Donald Trump directed sharp criticism towards the “weak RINO leadership” of Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, calling him “another Mitch McConnell” and accusing him of “standing in the way” of the Forensic Audit bill, SB 47.
Since losing his 2020 presidential re-election to apparent voter integrity issues at the ballot box, former President Trump has continued to press state-level Republicans to tighten up voter integrity laws or implement new legislation to address the problem.
But just as the Republican-led Texas legislature has answered the former president’s call to action, it appears as if Speaker Phelan has made an enemy with the last person just about every Republican would want to upset.
“Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan is another Mitch McConnell. He is not fighting for the people of Texas. Speaker Phelan should immediately move the Forensic Audit bill, SB 47 by Senator Bettencourt that passed out of the State Senate this week, to the floor. The Speaker knows the bill will overwhelmingly pass the House with Republican support,” stated President Trump in a press release on Saturday afternoon.
Trump continued, asserting that Speaker Phelan “weakened the penalty” down from a felony to a misdemeanor for individuals who illegally voted in the Lone Star state,” accusing him of “siding with the Democrats and calling there amendment that makes a mockery of our election laws “thoughtful.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been endorsed by President Trump in his re-election bid for governor, has given Phelan a full-throated endorsement or his re-election to the Texas State House of Representatives, calling him a “pivotal leader in the passage of monumental legislation.”
Trump and most Texans may see the Senate Forensic Audit bill as “monumental legislation” that needs to be passed, but Phelan appears to have slowed the measure’s progression.
It’s obvious that Trump is not a fan of Phelan and neither is former Texas GOP Chairman and current gubernatorial candidate, Allen West, who opposed Phelan’s bid to become Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives last year.
West all but predicted what Trump asserted when called Phelan a “Republican political traitor” and accused him of wanting to “seek affirmation from progressive socialist Democrats” to become Speaker.
Trump stating that Phelan would side with Texas Democrats over election integrity, echoes what West warned Phelan could or would once the election integrity came up for a vote.
“It is utterly absurd and demonstrably idiotic that any Republican would join with Democrats to lead our Republican majority (83-67) Texas State House. Does anyone believe that Texas Democrats will support the Republican Party of Texas legislative priority of election integrity?” questioned then-Chairman West. Therefore, let me clearly state this: the Republican Party of Texas will not support, nor accept, State Rep. Dade Phelan as Speaker of the Texas House. Texas does not need a Republican political traitor, not at a time when the two diverging philosophies of governance are this lucid”