Straus Grandstands for the Public

On Monday Joe Straus crashed a Texas House committee meeting to grandstand about ending the use of gimmicks in the budgeting process. His actions are hollow.

Last session when conservatives were calling for needed substantive spending reforms Straus and his leadership team opted instead to spend down our state’s rainy day fund, raise revenues and in the end relied on gimmicks to escape making tough decisions.

The Texas Tribune chastised the Speaker’s leadership team during the 2011 session for the way it was employing an unprecedented number of tricks to balance the budget. The Texas legislature is required to balance the budget. How the speaker’s team balanced the budget was compared to Enron and Countrywide by the Tribune.

Straus’s opportunistic conversion has done even more damage by Governor Rick Perry’s Budget Compact. Straus has refused to get behind the initiative despite its major policy tenant being approved by 96% of Republican Party primary voters.

The budget compact isn’t the only Republican action Straus continues to avoid. This week when given the chance he refused to reject Obamacare.

On Monday Perry announced Texas would not be kowtowing to Obama by expanding our Medicaid program. Such an expansion would decimate the budget and our economy. Not only did Perry out flank Straus for the new cycle spotlight it forced the Speaker into another awkward moment were he shunned Republicans and didn’t take a stand against Obamacare.

Texans need to hold politicians accountable when it comes to the grandstanding they do. Straus’s rhetoric is almost offensive when you see the lack of action accompanying it.

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