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Voter suppression bill passes out of House committee

Here we go again.

A Texas House committee on Monday advanced the GOP-backed voting restrictions bill that first prompted Democrats to stall legislative work during a weekslong quorum break.

The 9-5 party-line vote on the revived legislation, Senate Bill 1, is part of a third bid to enact proposals that would outlaw local efforts to make it easier to vote, ratchet up vote-by-mail rules and bolster protections for partisan poll watchers. It comes just days after the House regained enough Democrats to restart business following a nearly six-week exodus over the minority party’s opposition to the voting legislation.

With the second special legislative session past the halfway mark, the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies opted to replace the Senate’s bill with language from its own bill, House Bill 3. That means the House is essentially starting over with the same exact proposals that instigated a stalemate in the chamber following Democrats’ departure to Washington, D.C., in early July.

State Rep. Andrew Murr, the Junction Republican authoring the legislation, indicated he could “foresee” at least some changes to the legislation when it reaches the House floor, though it remains unclear how expansive those amendments could be.

“We’re picking up right where we left off from and so those changes are yet to come,” Murr told the committee.

He had faced questions from Democrats over possible revisions in light of an overnight hearing last month that garnered more than 12 hours of deliberations and public testimony, largely against the legislation, during which there seemed to be some tenuous consensus, including on possibly mandating training for poll watchers.

[…]

As they returned to the Capitol in larger numbers Monday, Democrats indicated they remained optimistic about successfully fighting the bill during the House’s floor debate. State Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas, pointed to Democrats’ ability to cut a deal on what was a pared down version of the bill during the regular legislative session. After the House approved that version in May, lawmakers reshaped the bill behind closed doors so that it swelled beyond what each chamber initially approved.

That reworked version of the bill instigated Democrats’ first quorum break at the end of the regular legislative session; it also served as the blueprint for the current legislation under consideration.

“We had a version of what was SB 7 leave this House in far better shape than it got here,” Anchía said. “We expect to be part of the process just like we were during the regular session.”

I mean, I dunno, maybe. It might take a little of the sting out of the restoration of the quorum, or at least provide the argument for doing so. Maybe this time they’ll at least listen to what all the advocates for the disabled community were saying about how the bill harms them. I just know that Dan Patrick is still going to get a say in what the final bill looks like, and there’s no reason to be optimistic about that. But the train has left the station, and all we can do is try to keep it from going off the rails.

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5 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    25 days and counting……..

  2. While the fight continues, Democrats need to acknowledge this bill is inevitable and implement efforts to minimize, as best we can, its impact on Democratic voters. The 2022 election season is almost upon us.

    For my thoughts on the matter, please click on the click below:

    https://www.harriscountydemocrats.com/post/new-texas-voting-legislation-let-s-help-our-local-democrats-comply-with-the-law-and-vote

  3. C.L. says:

    Greg, I’m all about readers of this blog posting their mindless diatribes and vitriol, but it appears you may be using it to direct readers to your website for traffic purposes…

  4. Kibitzer says:

    Knowledge is good (see motto in OTK masthead) and so is diversity in thoughts. So, good to see Mr. Summerlin weigh in again. And as for promoting his own blog … where the elaboration of his argument may be found … why would that be a problem?

    With that said, the notion of inevitability is not very useful. To belabor an economics truism, in the end we are all dead. But we don’t have to hasten the dying process and in the meantime. There are always choices.

    TO DO OR NOT TO DO, WITH NOD TO THE BARD

    Like whether to break quorum or not.

    And for the Republican majority, whether or not to change the House rules on unexcused absences to emasculate the opposition party even further. Not to mention the idea of punishing them by docking their pay.

    WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE MINORITY AND WHOM THEY REPRESENT ?

    I read somewhere that the Dems’ decampment to D.C. ended with a whimper and that upon their return they are being offered crumbs. Perhaps in a commentary by Ross. ​Crumbs for the donkey herd.

    Are there any crumbs even droppiong from the red meat table? Where are they?

    Why even attend the GOP gloating fest? It started with a prayer. Next was a call install a Republican Speaker Pro Tem and to punish legislators who had been absent without leave. Oh Lord, let them have their daily denouement. Now that they are back.

    ANGLO VERSION OF CAUDILLO RULE

    The AWOL theme fits right in with the transformative mantra being pushed by General Paxton and his lieutenants that Greg Abbott is now rightfully running the State as our Commander in Chief, having issued and re-issed statewide disaster declarations, thus eviscerating the ability of local leader to look out for and take care of their constituents.

    The Commander in Chief gets to issue orders and the Orders are now the rule of law.

    End of discussion.

    One-man rule.

    With high court and Lege as validators.

  5. Ross says:

    David. No one gives a rsts ass how many days are left until some unknown and irrelevant evenr occurs. Have you considered crossing the days off on a calendar on the wall?