Joe Straus on Tuesday was unanimously reelected to a record-tying fifth term as speaker of the Texas House.
Straus has faced opposition from tea party-aligned conservatives in the GOP caucus over the years, but none stepped forward to challenge the San Antonio Republican this year.
In a speech following his victory, Straus reiterated his desire to improve the scandal-plagued Child Protective Services agency in the coming session.
“Home ought to be a place of love and support, not abuse and violence,” Straus said. “We’ve begun improving Child Protective Services, but our work is far from finished. We can all agree that protecting children is one of the state’s most basic and important responsibilities.”
A key dynamic of the 2017 legislative session will be the clash between Straus’ desire to accomplish nuts-and-bolts governing priorities like fixing CPS and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s push for hot-button social issues like prohibiting transgender people from using the public bathrooms of their gender identities.
In his speech, Straus showed his pragmatic brand of politics.
“Compromise has become a dirty word in politics but in reality it is how we find common ground and achieve the common good,” Straus said. “And it is a good word in this House.”