Chasm said to be widening among Oklahoma House Republicans
Speaker-elect fires staff, makes committee leadership assignments.
The author of Oklahoma's anti-immigration law and a chairman of key House revenue subcommittees for the past four years said Tuesday he refused a committee chairmanship because of concerns the speaker-elect is straying from conservative social legislation.
Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, said the fracture between conservative House Republicans and Speaker-elect Kris Steele is widening after he said last week he would ask fellow Republicans to focus on economic issues.
â€œI was offered a position but declined,â€ Terrill said. â€œI simply felt that it would be inappropriate for me to accept a position when I may not fully share
â€œI reached the point in my legislative career where I don't need a title to be relevant. This actually frees up more of my time so that I can focus on those conservative agenda items that are most important to me.â€
Those items include stronger anti-immigration measures, advancing and protecting gun-owners' rights and a conservative social agenda, he said.
â€œThere are a number of conservatives in the caucus who have serous concerns about Speaker Steele's commitment to advancing those agenda items,â€ Terrill said.
Terrill's comments led to expectations that the upcoming session will be more tumultuous than expected for Republicans.
Continuity among the House staff took a jolt when about a dozen staffers â€” including the House fiscal director who had been there 20 years â€” were fired. Others include a senior fiscal policy analyst, a research director and as many as six executive assistants for House
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