Listen: House Speaker compares special session agenda to a pile of manure

Mike Ward and Scott Braddock, The Houston Chronicle

House Speaker Joe Straus seems sick and tired of it all.

After months of critical swipes from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at him and his legislative chamber, and a week after Gov. Greg Abbott said lawmakers will be lazy if they don’t pass all 20 of his agenda items in a special legislative session starting July 18, the normally reserved Straus has responded with both barrels.

Addressing school administrators in San Antonio, Straus blasted his fellow Republican leaders by comparing Abbott’s special-session agenda to a pile of manure and saying Texas is off-track with proposals such as the “bathroom bill” championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the clubby Senate.

He said the state should instead be focusing on reforming the way it finances public education, a far more worthy issue.

The criticism, which surely did not please Abbott or Patrick, might come as no surprise, given that ultra-conservative Republican groups that have applauded Abbott’s special session agenda and have considered Patrick a hero for years have repeatedly blasted Straus’ more moderate positions.

No secret: Straus and Patrick have never been close buddies.