It was his own members, however, who shot down his effort to establish an ethics committee to oversee the conduct of House members. GOP members also soundly rejected a bond issue to pay for repairs to the state Capitol. “It became a situation where they would have been labeled at least by some as not being fiscally conservative if they voted for the bond issue,” he said. “They were afraid of being labeled a certain way instead of doing the right thing.”
Steele angered Senate Republicans and the governor's office when he refused to hear a tax-cut bill that had been agreed upon by all three parties. He did so after it was discovered that some Oklahomans would have seen their taxes increase. “I felt good about that,” he said. “Let's do it in such a way that's it's not going to increase taxes on anyone.”
His time as speaker “became ugly” at times. He strived to stay focused on the issues and keep from getting sidetracked. On the whole, “I think we were able to conduct ourselves and do the people's business in a way the people will be proud of,” Steele said. He is right to be proud of his work and his leadership. The Legislature could use more members like him.