Texas' top Republicans vow to 'cross the aisle' this session

EMBED </>More Videos

Republican leadership says it is unified and will work with Democrats.

It may be lip service or wishful thinking, but Republican leaders in Texas say they're on the same page. They're willing to reach across the aisle. They're ready to build consensus and make this legislative session a productive one.

The morning press conference on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion was historic in and of itself. The state's top three Republicans sat together and presented a united front.

"We're here today to send a very strong, profound, and unequivocal message that the governor, lieutenant governor, and house speaker are working in collaboration together on a very bold agenda that will be transformative for the state of Texas," said Gov. Greg Abbott.

The three said they've been meeting to lay out a framework for the session, to make sure the top issues get the attention they need.

"If the three of us are aligned that we're going to accomplish a mission and pass legislation, it happens," said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

The proclaimed unity comes now that there are more Democrats in both the House and Senate than there were two years ago. 12 in the House and two in the Senate. Democrats think they'll have more of a say in what makes it to the floor and what passes.

"We're really excited to have some fresh faces in the Texas Legislature and have a little bit more balance, especially in the House," said Texas Democrats Executive Director Crystal Kay Perkins when the legislative session began on Tuesday.

It does seem Republicans, at least newly-elected Speaker Dennis Bonnen, wants to build coalitions that cross the aisle.

"It is our job to ensure we are leading together on those issues and that we stay together and, in turn, our bodies stay together and we deliver to the governor a bill he is ready to sign," said the Republican from Angleton.

Follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook and Twitter.
Related Topics:
politicslegislationAustinHouston
(Copyright ©2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)