AUSTIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Two key Republican-in-name-only (RINO) Texas politicians are announcing they will not seek re-election at the end in 2018.
Both Joseph Straus and Byron Cook are among several prominent establishment Republicans announcing they will not continue in their present political positions in the 2018 state primaries, adding to the trend of GOP establishment leaders dropping out of the races after Judge Roy Moore's resounding victory in Alabama.
Texas Right to Life (TRL) responded, "In order for the establishment ship to stay afloat, Straus and Cook had to walk the gangplank, rather than face an embarrassing electoral pummeling and sink the entire establishment ship."
Cook, as the chairman of the Texas House State Affairs Committee, has worked overtime to block pro-life legislation from being passed in the Texas legislature despite claiming to be pro-life.
As speaker of the house, Straus, put a sudden end to a special legislative session called by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to address important legislation ignored by RINOs in the 2016–2017 regular session.
Both men had blocked live-saving, pro-life legislation that would have easily passed without their interference.
Cook has supported some pro-life bills, but TRL considers them "weak" and "fake bills" that are "ineffective or non-priority." It goes so far as to call them "detrimental to the pro-life movement."
He killed HB1113, called the Pro-Life Health Insurance Reform which would prohibit insurance companies from paying for elective abortions.
Texas Right to Life commented:
Instead of helping pass pro-life laws that actually reduce the number of abortions in Texas, undermine Roe v. Wade and focus the cultural conversation on the humanity of the unborn (three necessary principles that guide Texas Right to Life's policy stances), Byron Cook is prioritizing weak legislation for political cover during re-election efforts, ignoring substantial pro-life policies that would actually save innocent lives.
A big fight is still expected to happen for the speaker's position, with the very real possibility that it will be "business as usual" in Austin.
John Zerwas, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, has claimed he would step in as speaker of the House, but his pro-life record is just as dismal as Cook's and Straus.'
While good pro-life legislation was finally passed, Texas Right to Life (TRL) commented, "All pro-life victories achieved under Straus' reign were despite him, Byron Cook and John Zerwas, not because of them." The organization continues, "Without the Freedom Caucus and a few other outspoken heroes in the Texas House, no pro-life bills would have passed in the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature."
Texas Right to Life believes the handwriting is on the wall for establishment Republicans:
If the members of the Texas House think they should merely change the name on the door of the speaker's office to another one of Gordon Johnson's puppets, they too, should resign and resign in shame and be treated for Stockholm syndrome, before they are defeated by their electorate in the March 6, 2018 primary.
There has been, however, an exodus of establishment Republicans from important national legislative positions. So far, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Ohio's Pat Tiberi, Dave Reichert of Washington State and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania have announced they will not be seeking re-election, while candidates supported by Steve Bannon are cleaning up in early polling.