Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday that House Speaker Joe Straus is "out of touch with the voters" for opposing the so-called bathroom bill that passed the Texas Senate a day earlier.
By a vote of 21-10, the upper chamber gave tentative approval Tuesday to the legislation, which would require transgender people to use the bathroom in public schools, government buildings and public universities that matches their "biological sex." The Senate could give the bill final approval as early as Wednesday and send it to the House, where Straus, a fellow Republican, has said he is not a fan of the proposal.
Asked Wednesday if the legislation is dead on the arrival in the lower chamber, Patrick went a little further than usual in prodding Straus.
"I think the speaker is out of touch with the voters," Patrick said in an interview on Dallas radio station KLIF, bringing up polling that he said shows wide support for the legislation. "This is an issue that people, supporters, constituents, voters want."
"If the speaker doesn't bring it to a vote, that's his issue," Patrick added. Patrick said it's his job as lieutenant governor to "uphold Texas conservative values, and that's what we did in the Senate" by passing the bill.
Patrick also appeared to suggest the legislation could win full GOP support in the House, where 94 members are Republican. The bill passed the Senate with the support of all 20 Republicans plus one Democrat.