Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently called for a special session with the Texas legislature to talk about several key issues, including the controversial Senate Bill 7. Texas Democrats walked out on the final night of the 87th Legislative Session to avoid voting on the bill, which included legislation aimed to reform the bail process and prohibit ballot drop boxes/mail-in voting.
“Two of my emergency items, along with other important legislation, did not make it to my desk during the regular session, and we have a responsibility to finish the job on behalf of all Texans. These Special Session priority items put the people of Texas first and will keep the Lone Star State on a path to prosperity. I look forward to working with my partners in the Legislature to pass this legislation as we build a brighter future for all who call Texas home,” Gov. Abbott announced.
The bill also focuses on border security, social media censorship, article 10 funding, family violence prevention, appropriations, thirteenth check, youth sports, and Critical Race Theory.
Democrats have continued to fight many parts of the legislation, referring to it as a “voter suppression bill” and refusing to take part in the session. Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan said the Dem’s decision to leave the chamber killed several other bills that had bipartisan support. He said that Texans shouldn’t have to pay the consequences of these members’ actions and that the bill is about making our elections stronger and more secure. Democrats have continued to push the narrative that voter ID requirements are discriminatory and illegal. Mind you, this is the same party that has pushed to mandate vaccine passports.
The Texas legislation would also provide a comprehensive plan for border security and provide funding to support law-enforcement agencies and counties. Speaker Phelan announced that he would form a House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies to ensure the consideration of items that are on the special sessions call. Once Gov. Abbott states the discussed subjects, then the special session will be limited to those issues.
The previous walkout drew so much attention that some officials have warned it could happen again at the special session. The sixteen Texas House Democrats who walked out even met with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House to discuss voting rights. They claimed that the GOP lawmakers were trying to “interfere” with that right and called the voting security measures in the bill a form of “suppression.”
Republican National Committee spokesperson Michael Joyce called out the trip since it was before she’d visited the border. “It’s no wonder Kamala Harris is meeting with Texas Democrats in Washington, DC today; Texas is far too close to the southern border for Harris to have any interest,” he said.
Gov. Abbott emphasized that election integrity is needed in the state of Texas and called the special session shortly after news from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Arizona’s election bill was meant to protect election integrity and denied the DNC’s claims that those voting measures were discriminatory. The court made its decision in a 6-3 vote.
Texas continues to serve as a model for conservative leadership while pushing other issues related to social media censorship and transgender athletes. The GOP negotiators noted that they will change some of the most controversial measures included in the bill related to the Sunday early voting window and the process for overturning elections. While the election bill is unlikely to look the same in the special session, it’s a good thing Gov. Abbott called it after the Dem’s last performance. They were elected to represent the American people and just walked out the door.