For almost two decades, Republicans have controlled all statewide offices and both chambers of the Texas Legislature. Despite this reality and campaign promises to the contrary, legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas have repeatedly been ignored.
While Republicans again maintained majority power in the 2021 regular legislative session, only two of the eight Texas GOP Legislative priorities made it across the legislative finish line.
This failure occurred despite the fact that Republicans make up 87 of the 150 lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives and 18 of 31 senators in the Texas Senate.
So who shares the blame? One lawmaker—the leader of the House Republicans—might share some of it, as evidenced below by a non-exhaustive list of his votes and actions this year.
State Rep. Jim Murphy’s Questionable Rise to Power
In December of 2020, a month before the 87th Legislative Session began, the Texas House Republican Caucus met to elect a new chairman. After a secret ballot was cast, they announced that State Rep. Jim Murphy (Houston) had taken the helm.
Notably, in their announcement, the caucus made no mention of the Republican Party’s legislative priorities.
“My colleagues have my commitment to apply the experience and knowledge I have developed over the years to my future efforts of providing them with strong, steadfast, and conservative direction,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s election happened despite the fact that he has consistently been rated one of the lowest-performing Republican lawmakers by several legislative rating scorecards over his tenure. Additionally, a Channel 2 KPRC investigation revealed Murphy claims to be an “independent contractor” for Houston’s Westchase Business District, where he got paid more than $312,000 in taxpayer money per year, on top of bonuses for “securing state funding for Westchase projects.”
The Westchase Business District partially overlaps Murphy’s House district, and
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