WHEREAS, Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas states that “a County or Senatorial District Convention or a County or District Executive Committee may, after notice and invitation to the officeholder to appear and be provided time to speak before a County or Senatorial Convention or a County or District Executive Committee, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, but in no case by less than a majority of the County Executive Committee (CEC) in full, adopt a resolution censuring a Republican public officeholder representing all or a portion of that County or District for three (3) or more actions taken during the current biennium in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas as defined in the Preamble of the Party Platform as described in Rule No. 43A or to the Legislative Priorities adopted at the most recent State Convention as described in Rule 34(c)”; and
WHEREAS, within Texas Congressional District 23, the Brewster, Crane, Dimmit, Kinney, Jeff Davis, Maverick, Pecos, Reagan, Schleicher, Terrell, Upton, Uvalde, and Val Verde County Republican Parties – and outside Texas Congressional District 23, the Irion, Real and Wichita County Republican Parties – have all passed resolutions supporting the censure of Congressman Tony Gonzales, and Bexar County precinct chairs supported censure by a 58-42% vote; and
WHEREAS, The Medina County Republican Party, at its February 2023 Executive Committee meeting, passed a “Resolution of Censure of United States Congressman Tony Gonzales” which identified, among other grievances, the following five actions taken during the current biennium (which began on June 18, 2022, when the 2022 Republican Party of Texas Convention adjourned sine die having adopted its rules) in violation of the Principles of the Republican Party of Texas:
- Congressman Tony Gonzales voted (House Roll Call #373 at 7-19-2022 5:53 pm) with the Democratic Majority in favor of the “Respect for Marriage” Act (H.R. 8404, co-sponsored by 189 Democrats and no Republicans). The measure called for the repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that recognized marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. The Respect for Marriage Act would establish federal protections for gay marriage and require that same-sex marriage be viewed as valid and legal in all governmental proceedings. Congressman Tony Gonzales was the only Texas Republican to vote in favor of supporting gay marriage. This action violated the RPT’s sixth core principle, namely, preserving “self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.”
- Congressman Tony Gonzales voted a second time (House Roll Call #513 at 12-8-23 11:11 am) with the Democratic Majority in favor of the “Respect for Marriage” Act (H.R. 8404, co-sponsored by 189 Democrats and no Republicans). Congressman Tony Gonzales was once again the only Texas Republican to vote in favor of supporting gay marriage. This action violated the RPT’s sixth core principle, namely, preserving “self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.”
- Congressman Tony Gonzales voted Nay on H.R. 5 (House Roll Call #23 at 1-9-2023 7:05 pm): “Adopting the Rules of the House of Representative for the one hundred eighteenth Congress and for other purposes.” Congress Tony Gonzales was the only Republican in the United States to vote with the Democrats against the rules package presented by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team, thereby endangering the hard-won Republican majority control of Congress and the victories earned by conservative Congressmen, including his colleagues from Texas, through both cooperation and negotiation with the incoming leadership team. The vote cast against the new Rules violated the RPT’s third, fourth, fifth and ninth core principles:
(Principle 3) “Preserving individual, Texan, and American sovereignty and freedom.” The Rules provide for a vote on a resolution to establish a “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” an urgent priority in the wake of efforts by the federal agencies to undermine and conduct baseless investigations against the Trump administration;
(Principle 4) “Limiting government power to those items enumerated in the United States and Texas Constitutions.” The Rules require all bills to include a statement citing the Constitutional authority given to Congress to enact such a bill, ensuring that all laws passed by the House of Representatives are limited to the specific powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Additionally, a new inclusion to the Rules requires single-subject statements to prevent riders that are unrelated to the overall purpose of each bill;
(Principle 5) “Personal accountability and responsibility.” The Rules restore the ability for Members to hold leadership accountable by allowing for a single member to make a motion to vacate the chair. This motion was in place prior to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership in 2019, when she eliminated it. Additionally, the Rules repeal a resolution passed by the previous Democratic majority that granted staffers in the House of Representatives the ability to unionize, which would endanger the accountability of Congressional staff to the elected Representatives for whom they serve;
(Principle 9) “A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.” The Rules established a “cut-as-you-go” budgetary process that required budgetary offsets to increases in mandatory spending, replacing a “pay-as-you-go” rule that allowed for spending increases to be offset by tax increases. The Rules also require the Congressional Budget Office to incorporate known macroeconomic effects of major legislation, such as changes in employment and inflation, to official cost estimates. The Rules eliminated the provision allowing for automatic increases to the debt ceiling, leaving in place that important tool for accountability and control of ever-increasing government debt; and
- Congressman Tony Gonzales has failed to support H.R. 29 (filed 1-9-2023) Border Safety and Security Act of 2023: “To authorize the Secretary of homeland Security to suspend the entry of aliens, and for other purposes,” sponsored by Texas Representative Chip Roy and co-sponsored by 49 other Republicans. Congressman Tony Gonzales’s district encompasses 843 miles of Texas border, the largest of any other district, yet he is the only Texas Republican not supporting this bill. Congressman Tony Gonzales has gone on the record opposing this legislation, in opposition to the Republican Party of Texas #2 Legislative Priority, which is to “secure the border and protect Texans.” While opposing this legislation, Congressman Gonzales has falsely stated that the legislation would ban “all asylum, to include legitimate asylum,” and has repeated the Democratic canard that supporters of border security are “anti-immigrant.”
- On June 24, 2022, Congressman Gonzales voted in favor of S. 2938, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” which subsidizes red flag laws, imposes additional restrictions on otherwise legal owners of firearms, and expands background checks. This bill, which violates our Second Amendment rights, was signed into law by President Biden on June 25, 2022. Congressman Gonzales’s votes in favor of this law violate Principle 1, “…and we support the strict adherence to the original language and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas,” and Principle 8, “the inalienable right of all people to defend themselves and their property”; and
WHEREAS, The Medina County Republican Party described its efforts to contact Congressman Gonzales to offer the opportunity to speak to these issues as follows:
“Contact with Congressman Tony Gonzales to meet with our CEC to answer questions on votes against the Republican Party of Texas Principles, Legislative Priorities and House Republican majority has gone unanswered. We contacted his San Antonio office on 12-15-22, 1-6-23 and 1-24-23, his Del Rio office on 1-6-23 who directed us to send an email to Jalen Falcon at Jalen.falcon.mail.house.gov. and contacted his Washington office on 1-6-2023, 1-18-2023 and 1-24-2023 with no return email or phone call. On January 13, 2023 Medina County Republican Party sent 3 certified letters with one delivered to Washington Office, Del Rio Office and San Antonio Office which have been signed and delivery receipt returned requesting him to schedule a meeting at his convenience to answer questions from our Executive Board. All communications have gone unanswered”; and
WHEREAS, The Medina County Republican Party Executive Committee passed the resolution of censure of Congressman Tony Gonzales by both a 2/3 majority of those present and voting and a 50% majority of all precinct chairs, even those not in attendance; and
WHEREAS, the term of office for Congressman Tony Gonzales expires after the 2024 Primary and General Elections, and he would be eligible to run for re-election to his Congressional seat in the 2024 elections and also eligible to run for any other partisan office in the 2024 elections; and
WHEREAS, in discussing resolutions of censure passed by a County Executive Committee, Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas states that “such a resolution may include a request, to the SREC or any State Convention held prior to start of the filing period of a Republican Primary Election while these rules are in effect, that the named officeholder be penalized. If such a request is included, after not less than fourteen (14) days’ notice and opportunity to the officeholder to appear and be provided time to speak before the SREC or the State Convention in conformity with the request, the delegates of the State Convention by majority vote in the case of (1) below, or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote in the case of (2) below, or the State Republican Executive Committee by a three-fifths (3/5) vote of the full membership, may vote to concur with the resolution of censure and impose one or both of the following penalties:
- Declare that no Rule or Bylaw enacted by any division of the Party at any level that demands the Party be neutral in intraparty contests shall be observed with respect to the named officeholder, and no financial or other support shall be provided to their campaign by the Party except that which is required by law. If the officeholder files an application to run for any public office in the Republican Party primary following the censure resolution’s passage, the SREC shall be authorized to spend up to twelve percent (12%) of the Party’s general fund on voter education in the officeholder’s district, by republishing the original censure resolution verbatim, using a media format determined by the SREC.
- Declare that the named officeholder is discouraged from participating in the Republican Party Primary following the censure passage.
Any above penalty imposed shall expire on the day following the date of the Primary runoff in which the officeholder would be up for re-election”; and
WHEREAS, in its resolution of censure, the Medina County Republican Party requested that the SREC “concur in this resolution of censure” and that the SREC “impose on Congressman Tony Gonzales, the full set of penalties provided in Rule 44 of the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas”; now
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State Republican Executive Committee concurs with the violations of Republican Party of Texas Principles and Legislative Priorities stated in the resolutions of censure passed by the Medina County Republican Party; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Texas imposes both penalties identified in Rule 44 on Congressman Tony Gonzales as follows:
- No Rule or Bylaw enacted by any division of the Party at any level that demands the Party be neutral in intraparty contests shall be observed with respect to Congressman Tony Gonzales, and no financial or other support shall be provided to his campaign by the Party except that which is required by law. If Congressman Gonzales files an application to run for any public office in the 2024 Republican Party Primary, the SREC shall be authorized to spend up to twelve percent (12%) of the Party’s general fund on voter education in the state of Texas, by republishing this censure resolution verbatim, using a media format determined by the SREC.
- Congressman Tony Gonzales is discouraged from participating in the 2024 Republican Party Primary; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that nothing in this Resolution shall be construed to prohibit the use of Party resources to encourage voting for Republican Party nominees or officeholders collectively, so long as Congressman Tony Gonzales is not identified by name.