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Lone Star Project Report

Guide to the GOP "Freedumb Caucus"

LSP details Texas GOP dysfunction

The Dallas Morning News asked a rhetorical but important question today:
"What happens when a small band of angry legislators takes control of the Texas House?”  
 
The story is a well done but damning profile of the self-titled "Texas Freedom Caucus" – a group of backbench obstructionist Republican House members who are using procedural disruption and "political retribution" to kill bills. Anyone watching them in action and assessing the damage they’re doing would likely join us in calling them the “Freedumb Caucus.”
 
There are bomb throwers with bad attitudes in every legislative body. But, the damage they do is usually no more than annoy their colleagues and embarrass their constituents.  So, the better question is how has a group of ideological gadflies with low skills and bad intentions become relevant in the Texas Legislature?  
 
The answer is that Speaker Joe Straus and others have let hyper-partisanship, distrust and divisiveness create an environment where the Freedumb Caucus can flourish.