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The Inherent Dishonesty of Texas Republicans
GOP members of the Texas House use grandstanding and hypocrisy to undermine democracy.
On Wednesday night, Public Education Committee Chairman Brad Buckley asked the House for permission to meet while in session. Motions like that get passed all the time, dozens per day, but what usually doesn’t happen is the House voting against allowing a committee to meet. But it happened when Buckley tried to sneak a school voucher bill onto the House floor.
Republican Representative Ernest Bailes approached the back mic and questioned Buckley, also a Republican, about his intent for the meeting. The proposed bill was 80 pages long and intended to bypass the usual hearing process without transparency, lack of public input, and the fact that similar bills have not received a vote in the committee.
Bailes opposed the motion and emphasized the importance of allowing bills to be heard in committee and allowing the public to provide input. The House voted, and the permission was not granted.
Sneaky Snake Brad Buckley wasn’t done.
He scheduled a public hearing where only invited testimony would be heard. You can guarantee that his “invited testimony” will be some far-right groups aligning with vouchers because they’ll bring about segregation. No public comments will be permitted.
Just as they’ve done all session long, Republicans plan on pushing another extremist bill through the legislature, even though it’s not what most Texans want.
A lie called out in public.
During the debate over HJR 155, a constitutional amendment to allow casinos in Texas (it failed), Republican Matt Shaheen spoke about how we shouldn’t allow casinos because it would increase domestic violence and sex trafficking.
Democratic Representative Julie Johnson took to the back mic to call out all of his grandstanding.
She reminded him that just last week, he voted against protecting women from domestic violence when a gun was involved (HB 544). Shaheen took the offensive and said her statement wasn’t true. But they don’t vote in private.
Here is Shaheen’s vote on protecting women from domestic violence last week:
Shaheen then talks about how he and his wife volunteer for a local sex trafficking victims organization.
The funny thing is, last legislative session, I wrote about how many Republicans voted against helping victims of sex trafficking. (Why Did These Republicans Vote Against Helping Sex Trafficking Victims?) Shaheen voted against multiple bills that would have helped these victims.
So, all of Shaheen’s showboating about how he was voting against casinos because he was so concerned about victims of domestic violence or sex trafficking was complete bullshit.
(I’ll put out another list when the session ends this year.)
Creighton’s bills attacking higher education.
When SB 17 was heard in the Senate Committee, there were 168 people registered against it and 6 in favor. Republicans passed it through the Senate anyway.
When the bill was heard in the House Committee on Higher Education, 254 people registered against it and 26 in favor.
Then there was SB 18, the prohibition on tenure at universities. When it was heard in the Senate, 91 people registered against it and 3 in favor. In the House, 191 people registered against it and 5 in favor.
Texans do not want these bills. Yet:
The Republican majority on the committee just voted them out.
The actions taken by the GOP members on SB 17 and SB 18 show a concerning level of dishonesty and disregard for the will of the people. Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, the Republicans chose to advance them anyway.
This blatant disregard for the voices and concerns of Texans reflects their willingness to push forward with their agenda, even when it goes against the wishes of the constituents they are meant to represent. By ignoring the overwhelming opposition and passing these bills, Republicans are undermining the principles of democracy and failing to act in the best interest of the people they are supposed to serve.
Republicans deliberately dismiss the will of the people, demonstrating a lack of integrity and an inability to be trusted or believed.
The continued pattern of advancing extremist bills and making misleading statements further deepens the skepticism surrounding their motives and calls into question their commitment to serving the public interest. Texans deserve elected officials who prioritize transparency, accountability, and the genuine concerns of their constituents rather than engaging in deceptive tactics to push through their own agenda.
As this legislative session inches to a close, it’s important to know 2024 will be upon us sooner than we think, and with it comes the beginning of another election season. This summer marks the start of political campaigns, and being prepared and engaged is crucial. If you haven't yet gotten involved with a cause or movement, now is the time to take action.
With the trajectory of the GOP, the current political landscape will deteriorate further if unchecked. Waiting on the sidelines is no longer an option. The time to get involved is now, as every action taken today can make a significant impact on the direction of our democracy.