Legislative Priorities Report for July 26, 2021
As we near the end of the Special Session, enough Democrats remain in D.C.to prevent a quorum. In fact, they are asking for “care packages” from home! They don’t need goodie boxes, they need to be punished for running out on their jobs.
Again, we urge Speaker Phelan and the Texas House to take action. The Democrats’ bad behavior simply cannot be rewarded by allowing them to return to their committee chairmanships after thumbing their nose for a month at the Governor, the Speaker, and the people of Texas who value free and fair elections. Surely Republicans can band together, revoke Democrat committee chairmanships, secure a quorum, and pass a strong election integrity bill without Democrat input. With the eyes of a nation on Governor Abbott and House Republicans, there is simply too much at stake to fail.
Since the last regular Legislative began, we have urged Speaker Phelan to only assign members of the Republican majority as committee chairs, as is the practice in Congress and virtually every other state. There are 34 standing committees in the House, and 15 in the Senate. The chair of the committee has tremendous power, as he or she decides what bills get heard on the committee, and how quickly they get voted out.
While most Republican voters were surprised that any Democrat would even be appointed to a chairmanship, the House voted on the issue and all but 5 Republicans supported allowing Democrats to chair committees. All but 11 Republicans voted to allow Democrats to chair the most powerful committees that would likely be taking up our priority legislation. They defended their perceived practice of “working across the aisle,” and made statements such as, “But we are not like Washington, D.C.”
Chairman Rinaldi has written an excellent article on this outdated approach by our Republican legislature. Please be sure to read it.
This Special Session, Election Integrity was the only priority Governor Abbott put on the call, though we appreciate that many of our Representatives did file bills for RPT priorities in the hopes they would subsequently be put on the call. One of these priorities was to ban child gender modification, for which Rep. Matt Krause filed HB 166.
The Governor, during an appearance on Mark Davis’ radio show last week, stated that that the House lacked the votes to pass a ban on child gender modification. He further stated that he was going to announce executive action soon on the issue. Representative Krause disagreed with the Governor’s vote count and stated he was confident the House had the votes to pass HB 166. Rep. Krause went on to note he has over 60 primary/joint/co-authors of HB 166, he has many supporters of the bill who have yet to sign on, his support is bipartisan and he has over 76 votes. Given Rep. Krause’s assessment, there is simply no excuse for the Governor not to place this issue on the call.
So, action items continue to be the same:
1. Please call Speaker Phelan and your House representative and ask that they remove the fleeing Democrats as committee chairs.
2. Please call Governor Abbott and ask that he pass Election Integrity without negotiating with Democrats and put a gender modification ban and our other RPT priorities on the call for this and future special sessions.
3. Please share these update reports with others. We know we should not have to work so hard to get these things done in our state. But for now, we do. The future of our state and our country is on the line.
We thank each of you who faithfully read these reports every week and make the calls and emails. May God richly bless you for taking a stand and being a good steward of the government of a country that is exceptional, begun on a firm foundation, and while now in danger of falling, may also have a chance of being saved by courageous citizens.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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