Sine Die, take two

The House followed the Senate out the door yesterday, leaving a bit of unfinished business behind.

The Senate’s version of a bill to criminalize intrusive pat-downs by federal agents with the Transportation Security Administration has died in the House, after the chamber couldn’t get the four-fifths vote needed to suspend the rules.

The 96-26 vote meant the measure couldn’t pass before the end of the special session, so House lawmakers adjourned sine die.

That leaves two of Gov. Rick Perry’s special session priorities — TSA and sanctuary cities — incomplete, but the governor doesn’t seem compelled to call lawmakers back again.

Many fingers were pointed in the aftermath of these welcome failures. The only thing better than seeing these things fail would be seeing Republicans rip each other apart over them.

Before we put a final bow on the 82nd Lege and move fulltime into 2012 electioneering – kudos to Robert Miller for sprinting out of the blocks on that – let me just make note of this rant by teabagger/enfant terrible Rep. David Simpson:

Simpson also took aim at the state budget, which top leaders have lauded as balancing without new taxes but which, Simpson noted, puts off billions of dollars in required Medicaid spending with the bill to come due in 2013. Legislative leaders have predicted they’ll need to dip into the rainy day fund again them to make the budget balance.

“I wholeheartedly support not raising taxes and shrinking the size and scope of government, but let’s tell the truth about the budget. Methinks we boast too much,” Simpson said. “We are deferring $4 billion into the next biennium. Is that conservative? Is using tax speedups conservative?”

He added that, “We have not kept up with the enrollment of our schools” while not scrubbing the budget of what he calls “handouts.”

Simpson said it is “unfortunate that this legislation has been used as political fodder by anybody to attack the President Obama administration. The TSA and its policies were initiated by the Bush administration.”

He said, “It is time that we stand up for individual rights. Not just state rights.”

He’s nuts, but he’s right about the budget shenanigans. See also what State Rep. Donna Howard and State Rep. Sylvester Turner have to say. All of these things need to be repeated ad nauseum between now and next November.

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