Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling out House Speaker Joe Straus (R-Alamo Heights), saying Straus is 'trying to undermine' him and the governor and 'damaging the party,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The comments came in a wide ranging interview with 1200 WOAI's Joe Pags.
Patrick said the Special Session of the Legislature, which is set to begin next month, would not be necessary had Straus not stood in the way of major conservative issues.
"The governor has put on issues, property tax relief, school choice for children with disabilities, privacy for women in restrooms and not having boys and girls shower together, and the Speaker is saying 'no, I'm still against these things, even though 70% to 80% of Texans support these issues in one form or another."
Patrick also accused Straus of abandoning conservatives in the Texas House. He said there were 80 votes, more than is needed to pass an item in the 150 member House, in support of approval of the Senate version of the bill restricting transgender bathroom rights, but Straus stood in the way of it coming up for a vote.
"He answers to 55 Democrats in the House and about two dozen moderate Republicans," Patrick said. "He ignores the 75 conservative Republicans we have in the House."
He says it is 'Joe against his own members, the Speaker against the peoplel of Texas.'
At one point, Patrick even suggested that Straus, for his pushing for expanded education spending, is jockeying for a tax increase, or approval of a state income tax.
Patrick also blasted the San Antonio City Council and other groups that are suing to block the new state law banning Sanctuary Cities. He says the opponents are spreading a 'Big Lie' about what the bill would actually do.
He says 212,000 criminal aliens have been arrested in Texas since 2012.
"Sanctuary cities do not make any one safe," he said. "It is absurd, it is offensive, when people say Sanctuary cities make us safe. They allow hardened criminals to hide in plain sight."
Patrick said it is a lie that the bill will lead to racial profiling, or deter crime witnesses or victims from reporting crimes. He says there is nothing in the bill that requires a police officer, for example, to 'ask for the papers' of a person pulled over for speeding, which is what many opponents of the bill have claimed.
Patrick said while Democratic politicians may oppose SB 4, the anti Sanctuary City ban, Texas Latinos want it.
"They want law and order where they live," he said. "They want law and order on the border. They don't want racist rhetoric. Greg Abbott and I strongly support the Hispanic community."