August 7, 2017 by Ross Kecseg
Republican lawmakers whose voting records betray their conservative campaign push-cards are frustrating to taxpaying constituents. But most Texans are unaware that state lawmakers are allowed to change their votes—after the fact—allowing them to mislead the public by simply rewriting history.
The most recent members of the “I was for it after I was against it” caucus are State Reps. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) – the GOP Caucus Chair – and Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller).
On Thursday, State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) laid out an amendment to House Bill 25, a bill he coauthored with State Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston). The original measure proposed tapping the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) – commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund – for $70 million to restore funding to a program for children on Medicaid.
Krause’s amendment proposed a new, alternative financing method, which would redirect disaster relief funds away from an account controlled by the Office of the Governor to the Medicaid program. Doing so would prevent lawmakers from extracting an additional $70 million from the ESF, which conservatives have rightly opposed.
After all, lawmakers could certainly provide disaster relief in the event a natural disaster actually occurred. But Democrats, along with liberal Davis, rose in opposition to Krause’s common sense fix.
Davis moved to table Krause’s amendment, which is a procedural move to delay a vote on the amendment itself, often disposing of it altogether. Parker, Capriglione, most Democrats, and a handful of liberal Republicans voter in favor of Davis’s motion.
But it wasn’t enough, as the effort to block Krause failed by a 53-73 vote.
Parker and Capriglione found themselves on the losing side of a vote opposing a more fiscally conservative measure. But more notably, they sided with most Democrats and a handful of liberal Republican Straus-loyalists in the process. This would certainly not look good to conservative constituents back home.
So, they simply changed their record votes by claiming they “intended” to vote the other way.
Texans can and should have a vigorous debate on public policy. And with any debate – including those between members of the same party – there is bound to be disagreement. But lawmakers who mislead constituents by rewriting history should not be tolerated.
Below is the original 53-73 vote on Davis’ failed motion to table Krause’s amendment, prior to Parker and Capriglione switching sides. A screen shot of Parker’s “correction” can be found HERE; Capriglione’s, HERE.