Phelan announces committee appointments for the 88th Legislative Session

Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) announced committee appointments on the Texas House floor for the 88th Legislative Session. The speaker appointed eight Democrats to committee chairmanships: Reps. Oscar Longoria (D-Penitas) of Business and Industry, Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) of County Affairs, Joe Moody (D-El Paso) of Criminal Justice, Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) of Corrections, Harold Dutton (D-Houston) of Juvenile Justice, Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) of Resolutions, Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) of Transportation, and Tracy King (D-Uvalde) of Natural Resources.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) mounted an unsuccessful campaign for House speaker, primarily challenging Phelan’s appointment of Democratic committee chairs. Reps. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) and Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) were the only members to vote for him other than Tinderholt himself. Phelan appointed Tinderholt to County Affairs and Public Health.

In a news conference by the House Freedom Caucus after the appointments were announced, Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) said the fight over Democratic chairs is “behind us” and the caucus is now focused on policy.

Ahead of an anticipated fight over school choice legislation, Rep. Brad Buckley (R-Salado) received an appointment as chair of the Public Education Committee.

Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) will once again serve as chair of the House Administration committee. Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) is the chair of General Investigating.

As it does every regular session, the Texas House will have the colossal task of passing the state’s biennial budget. Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) will be at the helm of that debate as chair of the Appropriations Committee. Meanwhile, Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) will chair Ways and Means.

Bonnen was also the Appropriations chairman during the 87th Legislature. He has been instrumental in shepherding billions of dollars to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security projects.

Phelan appointed the most senior member of the chamber, Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), and the second most senior, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), as deans of the House.

Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) is the speaker pro tempore.

A list of committee appointments provided by the speaker’s office can be found below.

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