TEXAS: GOP House Speaker Blocks Bathroom Bill

The Austin Statesman reports:

Flexing his parliamentary muscle and flashing his antipathy to efforts to regulate the use of bathrooms by transgender people, House Speaker Joe Straus prevented amendments on the matter from reaching the House floor on Tuesday.

In a showdown with his most socially conservative members, Speaker Joe Straus ended debate on a bill about the fate of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas operations, by announcing there were no further amendments to consider.

But at least two amendments had been filed before the debate seeking to fold the contentious transgender bathroom issue into the relatively tame oil and gas bill. Straus said he had determined the proposed amendments “were not germane” to the bill.

The bill is still alive and the haters will surely press on.

The owner of Houston’s NFL team is also against the bill:

Texans owner Bob McNair is against the state’s “bathroom bill” that could cost cities in the Lone Star State hundreds of millions from lost sporting events and conventions if it passes. Houston hosted the Super Bowl, Final Four and Copa America soccer tournament the last two years. The state would be in danger of losing major events if the bill passes.

I don’t think it’ll pass,” McNair said this week. “I don’t think we need it. There’s opposition in the House. I think there are other things more important going on in the world.” The NBA and NFL have made their philosophies known, and both involve non-discrimination of any kind. “And we believe that,” McNair said at the NFL meetings.

  • Leo

    “The NBA and NFL have made their philosophies known, and both involve non-discrimination of any kind.”

    What telling wordplay. Forgive the cynicism but I still think you only care about $.

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      Yup. Good that the bill’s been blocked, but its not because anyone gives a shit about us, its because they fear the economic backlash.

      • zhera

        At least the economic backlash comes because some (most) people care.

      • Craig Howell

        In the Catholic Church in which I was raised, this would be classified as an Act of Imperfect Contrition (i.e., you’re contrite because you don’t want to be damned for all time). But it’s still good.

      • McSwagg

        The Texas Legislature meets only in odd years for 140 days (unless the Gov calls a special session for a specified issue). We won’t be safe until after May 29th.

      • William

        At the beginning of the session, Straus said he didn’t see a point to tthis bill.

      • bandanajack

        i can live with that…

    • Todd20036

      Cynicism is noted, but remember, money used to demand that businesses discriminate against LBGT.

      Now, it demands that they don’t. It may be cynical progress, but it’s still progress.

      And besides, money is the only thing that matters to the theocracists.and Nazis.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Cynically based or not, we’ll take it.

    • david fairfield

      If the bill is blocked as a result of sportsball, at least it got blocked and enough politicians in Texas know what is important to their people…in North Carolina they wanted SO BADLY to trample the rights of the lgbt community that it didn’t matter who left the state. That’s something. It may never be for the right reason, but we’ll take it when we can get it!

      • a million upvotes for “sportsball”.

        • Tiger Quinn

          A million downvotes for that. It doesn’t make you any cooler to do this “sportsball” thing than for rabid fans to worship their teams. You know what football is. You know what basketball is. You’re not required to follow them, but what is this acting like you have no idea what it even is?

          • Really Tiger, *this* is your hot button issue? I’m guessing you don’t laugh at funny movies either. But I digress. Have a wonderful morning, and bless your heart.

          • TuuxKabin

            . . . “have a wonderful mourning, as tiger misery quinn just dwells there. Don’t cha’ tigie?

          • John30013

            Yes, “sportsball” is snarky, but it’s also a convenient way to refer generically to professional sports. Just because you don’t personally like it doesn’t mean the person using it is acting immaturely.

            I’m sure Ed (and everyone else here) couldn’t give a flying fuck whether you think they’re “cool” or not.

            Why not try being constructive next time? There are enough trolls around here already.

          • edrex

            get thee to a starbucks right away.

          • BobSF_94117

            I’m a little hazy on the details, but the NFL and NBA involve different games, hence “sportsball” becomes a neutral, all-encompassing term, no?

        • Reality.Bites
          • William

            They are water resistant! I do hate soggy balls.

          • Reality.Bites

            how do you feel about saggy?

          • William

            Saggy, droopy, dangly, all good.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Then stop drooling on them.

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      I wonder which is more powerful: sports or Jeebus.

  • Trevor Brown

    The forces of dimness stupid but evil plans are foiled again…for now.

  • Tawreos

    Never underestimate the power of the almighty dollar…especially on the GOP

  • John Ruff

    Ha ha ha! He knew better. It ain’t good for business.

  • zhera

    Well, at least someone has learned from the North Carolina mess. The christers will of course never learn but that’s a given.

  • billbear1961
    • zhera

      That painting is confusing. A woman with a sword and a Captain America shield comes flying out of a rainbow cloud, accompanied by a bald eagle. Wut?

    • easygoingmister

      Great selection! It is getting me charged & motivated this morning! Thanks!

  • easygoingmister

    The dollar definitely does make for interesting bedfellows.

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element

    Well, since it’s Texas I’ll give them a point…until they try this again.


  • Johnny Wyeknot

    But what about your women folk? (Thinks Dallas housewife who ran over her husband 7 times in her Cadillac.)

    • Reality.Bites

      Doesn’t she at least get some credit for not driving an import?

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        Oh absolutely! I am a huge fan of hers!

    • Pat

      Once might be an accident, and I’ll give her two since she could have been trying to back up and get off him but 7 times – if I were on that jury, that would make me pause and consider that this might just possibly be deliberate.

      • Craig Howell

        “But Your Honor: My husband slid himself under my car 7 times!” (Apologies to “Chicago.”)

        • Pat

          He shoulda oughta known better!

      • McSwagg

        Everyone knows women don’t know how to park!

        • Pat

          Damned parallel parking!!! Oh wait, that’s not a curb. *sad trombone*

    • William

      A Houston housewife ran over her husband again and again. I don’t remember it happening in Dallas too. We call that a Texas divorce.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        Brilliant! Maybe it was Houston.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Joe Straus makes the white baby Jesus ​cry.

  • Pat

    Money talks, bs walks. If they can’t respect people’s rights out of common decency, then they sure as hell have to out of fear for consequence, especially revenue. Nice to know economic clout is being used for the right reasons.

  • TrollopeReader

    Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick must be *livid* …hsow his Senate for the homophobic Christianist bigots they are — after being warned by the House speak and the governor. !!

  • William

    A couple sessions back, far right repuglicans tried to block Straus’ reelection as epeaker by spreading the fact that he is Jewish.

    • MaryJOGrady

      Joe Straus often shows astounding signs of personal decency. When my friend Celia Israel became the first open lesbian elected to the Texas House, he quickly surprised her with a cordial phone call.

    • TrollopeReader

      oh, now i remember that. when the bad ones are bad (Lt. Gov. Patrick) they are *really* bad …..

    • Menergy

      But them texans don’t mind wearing wearing them Levi’s (Strauss) jeans, do they? 🙂

      • McSwagg

        You’d be surprised how many wear the Wranglers.

  • Nic Peterson

    Football won!

  • Mike in Texas

    Put this elsewhere, but it’s more appropriate here, so I’ll repeat it.

    The Great Republican Rift: The bathroom bill is the latest issue to expose the split between social conservatives and business Republicans


    • Which group do you think will become the face of the party? Do you think this will lead to the ousted one forming a separate party?

      • Mike in Texas

        Interesting question … I think the religious nutcases have gained some ground in the last few years, mainly because Texas is a low voter turnout state. A lot will depend on whether or not the moderate Republicans can get their voters motivated. And who knows, if the Dems can get motivated, maybe they can take advantage of the Republican split. I think they’ve got the bodies. They just have to get the bodies to the voting booth.

        • I sure would love it if the religious nutcases went back to their nests and left the rest of us alone. Man o’ man, it would be great to get the Dems motivated again and get some brimstone and fired up folks back in government with a desire to help out the little guy.

          What do you think accounts for the low voter turnout? Is it apathy that no matter who they vote for they will indeed get screwed? Or has the change from print news to 24 hour “news” caused the voters to just shut down?

          Between partisan fighting, in fighting and lack of will, our government is falling to pieces and parts. Unless we can begin to pull together again, and people actually go to the polls to vote for candidates who will advance the will of the people and protect the little guy we are doomed.

  • thatotherjean

    There’s a shred of intelligence left in the Texas legislature? Who knew? Props to House Speaker Straus, even if it doesn’t do much good in the end, since the idjits will keep trying.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    I think about oil, gas and railroads every time I go in a bathroom stall, so makes sense to me. /s

  • Robert Conner
  • Amy Wigand

    Money is not a valid reason to be against these bathroom bills. Be against these bathroom bills because they are an illegal and immoral violation of basic human rights.