Texas state Rep. Joe Moody (D) has been removed from his position as speaker pro tempore on Thursday following his departure from the state, alongside other Democrats, in protest of an election reform bill.
The story: House Speaker Dade Phelan, Republican, announced in a brief memo on Thursday morning that Moody, who has served as speaker pro tempore for two sessions under two different speakers, has been stripped of the role.
The memo did not explain why Moody’s removal was necessary but that it’s effective immediately.
“Pursuant to my authority under House Rule 1, Section 10, I have relieved Representative Joe Moody from his position as Speaker Pro Tempore for the 87th Legislature, effective immediately,” the memo reads.
Moody’s response: The Texas lawmaker tweeted that “[t]he most important titles in my life will never change: Dad, Husband, El Pasoan.”
“Nothing political has ever even cracked the top three, so nothing has changed about who I am or what my values are,” he added.
The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Chris Turner, slammed Phelan’s decision.
How we got here: Phelan’s move is believed to be a response to Democrats’ decision to flee Texas and block the vote on an election bill that Democrats say will make voting in the state harder.
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