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In Texas GOP 'Family,' Food Is the Tie That Binds

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Barbeque from restaurants like Capital Q Texas BBQ, 707 H Street NW, is a frequent feature of the Texas delegation’s lunch menus.

“It’s just more of a social gathering than it is policy or politically oriented,” Barton said. “But we do talk policy, we do talk politics.”

It’s just that policy stuff doesn’t — “dudn’t,” in Barton’s east Texas drawl — dominate the discussion. “When there’s a big issue comin’ up, we do sometimes try to develop a Texas position on it,” Barton said. “And when individual members have specific problems or projects, we give them the floor to let them discuss it. Stuff like that.”

While the lunch may seem light on policy, members pointed to it as an integral part of what it means to be a Texas Republican.

When Brady missed a lunch as a freshman, the senior Texas senator at the time, Phil Gramm, called him up and told him, according to Brady: “‘You know, these aren’t optional. This is what Texans do.’”

Brady added: “So, from the very first part, it was instilled in me we meet every Thursday, we meet together. So, yeah, I love it. You got a family.”

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