Speaker Joe Straus Not in Favor of Texas ‘Bathroom Bill’ [INTERVIEW]
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus (R) appeared on The Chad Hasty Show to discuss priorities in the 85th Texas Legislature, how the current session is differing from the 84th and specific issues in front of the House.
Straus and Hasty discussed a number of current issues, including the Texas state budget, school choice, the controversial issue of SB 6 (the "bathroom bill"), and much more.
While talking about the status of SB 6, Straus had a clear position on the bill.
"It is a business issue. I've heard from employers all over the country, that to send a signal that we're, with our eyes wide open, going to pass a bill somewhat similar to North Carolina's, that that would not be a wise thing to do," he said. "So I'm not predicting that it's going to pass or not pass. I'm clearly not in favor of it, but I'm one person in the House...I do hope that we will give real consideration to the consequences of what would happen if we were to pass this, on the economy, on the image of Texas in the eyes of people around the country."
Straus wrapped up his position on SB-6, saying: "I take it very seriously when hundreds and thousands of job-creating businesses tell us that we should not do this."
Straus also responded to Hasty's question about a recent statement made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on KFYO's Pratt on Texas show. Lt. Gov. Patrick had said Straus has a different audience than does Governor Greg Abbott, and that the Speaker is elected by a small number of people, including many Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives, compared to Gov. Abbott's wider audience of Texans. Straus responded:
I'm a House member that the other 149 [House members] have voted for to preside over the [legislative] session. I think most of them say that I try to be fair. I'll express myself, but I don't impose my views. The Lt. Gov's absolutely correct. He has a different audience, I mean literally a different audience. He was in your [Hasty's] business. He's an entertainer, a talk show guy...I'm happy with agreeing with him that we have different audiences.
Straus continued on the subject, saying:
Yeah, the Democrats have voted for me, but so have the Republicans. And that's not something in this era of polarized politics that I run away from, or that I'm embarrassed by. I work with everybody, and I'm happy about that, and I think it leads to better results, and I would encourage others to try it.
Listen to the entire interview with Speaker Joe Straus in the video above.