Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has called for House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) to resign after a video from the House floor allegedly showed Phelan to be intoxicated.
As reported by The Dallas Express, a video of Phelan slurring his words and swaying back and forth while on the dais has led many to speculate that he may have been drunk.
Paxton explained, “After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislative session.”
“Texans were dismayed to witness his performance presiding over the Texas House in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication,” the statement continued. “His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public.”
“Texans were relying on the House to pass critical conservative priorities including protecting the integrity of our elections and preventing Chinese spies from controlling Texas land. His failures as Speaker have created a credibility crisis for all Republican candidates and for our entire Party,” Paxton said.
“While I hope Speaker Phelan will get the help he needs, he has proven himself unworthy of Texans’ trust and incapable of leading the Texas House,” the statement concluded.
Furthermore, Paxton sent a letter to the House’s General Investigations Committee requesting that they “open investigation into Speaker Phelan for violation of House rules, state law, and for conduct unbecoming his position.”
Most recently, the General Investigations Committee led to the expulsion of Rep. Bryan Slaton after reports he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old staffer who was under the influence of alcohol provided by the former House member.
Former member of the Texas House Jonathan Stickland said, “Anyone who watches the #txlege House knows many of the members are regularly intoxicated. Watching the Speaker be this wasted is absolutely unacceptable.”
Anyone who watches the #txlege House knows many of the members are regularly intoxicated.
Watching the Speaker be this wasted is absolutely unacceptable.
These Representatives are making laws that impact 30 million Texans. It must stop.pic.twitter.com/ETYH1sue9j
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) May 21, 2023
Paxton and Phelan have been on poor terms after the Speaker said that the House would not budget for settlement payments in a lawsuit against Paxton by former OAG employees, as reported by The Dallas Express.
While Paxton and others claim Phelan was drunk, others have suggested that Phelan could have been experiencing an adverse medical reaction.
Neither Phelan nor his office has issued a statement or responded to requests for comment regarding the incident or Paxton’s call for his resignation as of the time of publication.
A representative for Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi told The Dallas Express that he had no comment on the call for Phelan’s resignation at this time. Rinaldi has been a vocal critic of Phelan’s term as speaker.