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A special session of the Texas State Legislature convened on Thursday to address several unfinished legislative priorities of Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), including an election integrity bill that was thwarted in the last hours of the 2021 regular session by the walkout of Democratic State Legislators.
“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success for the people of Texas, but we have unfinished business to ensure that Texas remains the most exceptional state in America,” Gov. Abbott, who called for the special session, said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Abbott added:

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.

Abbott’s office released an agenda on Wednesday for the special session that included ten agenda items in addition to election integrity:

BAIL REFORM: Legislation reforming the bail system in Texas to protect the public from accused criminals who may be released on bail.

ELECTION INTEGRITY: Legislation strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.

BORDER SECURITY: Legislation providing funding to support law-enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas’ comprehensive border security plan.

SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP: Legislation safeguarding the freedom of speech by protecting social-media users from being censored by social-media companies based on the user’s expressed viewpoints, including by providing a legal remedy for those wrongfully excluded from a platform.

ARTICLE X FUNDING: Legislation providing appropriations to the Legislature and legislative agencies in Article X of the General Appropriations Act.

FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Legislation similar to Senate Bill 1109 from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, requiring schools to provide appropriate education to middle- and high-school students about dating violence, domestic violence, and child abuse, but that recognizes the right of parents to opt their children out of the instruction.

YOUTH SPORTS: Legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth.

ABORTION-INDUCING DRUGS: Legislation similar to Senate Bill 394 from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, which prohibits people from providing abortion-inducing drugs by mail or delivery service, strengthens the laws applicable to the reporting of abortions and abortion complications, and ensures that no abortion-inducing drugs are provided unless there is voluntary and informed consent.

THIRTEENTH CHECK: Legislation similar to House Bill 3507 from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to a “thirteenth check” or one-time supplemental payment of benefits under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

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CRITICAL RACE THEORY: Legislation similar to House Bill 3979 concerning Critical Race Theory as originally passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session.

APPROPRIATIONS: Legislation providing appropriations from additional available general revenue for the following purposes: property-tax relief, enhanced protection for the safety of children in Texas’ foster-care system by attracting and retaining private providers for the system, and to better safeguard the state from potential cybersecurity threats

The announcement earlier this week by former Texas GOP chairman and former Florida Congressman Allen West that he is challenging governor Abbott in the 2022 republican gubernatorial primary adds another unanticipated element of drama to the special session. 
Texas is expected to become one of several red states that have passed comprehensive election integrity measures in 2021. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that it is suing the state of Georgia, which passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021 in March, on charges that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination.

Under Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Biden administration’s DOJ is poised to sue every red state that has passed election integrity laws in 2021.
Last week the Supreme Court of the United States threw an obstacle into the DOJ’s litigation plans when it ruled in a six to three opinion, Brnovich v. the Democratic National Committee, that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is not violated by state election laws that simply are designed to prevent voter fraud. 
As part of that litigation, a federal district judge ruled on Wednesday against the DOJ’s motion for a temporary injunction to prohibit Georgia from enforcing key provisions of the Election Integrity Act of 2021.

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Nancy Pelosi

Video: Chip Roy reacts to Pelosi removal of 2 GOP from the Jan. 6 panel

“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to know the truth”

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Texas Congressman Chip Roy reacts to Nancy Pelosi’s move to remove Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Indiana Congressman Jim Banks from the January 6th committee

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fox news

Sean Hannity blasts Texas Democrats who fled state after some Staff tested positive

“And get this, we’re also learning tonight more individuals who interacted with Texas Democrats who tested positive for COVID have now themselves tested positive, including a staffer for Speaker Pelosi.”

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Sean Hannity blasted one Democrat from Texas for comparing the threat of arrest “to the institution of slavery.” Hannity told his viewers’ Tuesday that police would be taking Democrats “to the Capitol to do their job.”

SEAN HANNITY: All those Texas Democrats who fled their state are finding even more ways to embarrass themselves tonight as one Texas Democrat is comparing the threat of arrest. But as Governor Abbott said, it’s just the police will take them to the Capitol to do their job after fleeing… They’re comparing it to the institution of slavery. 

And get this, we’re also learning tonight more individuals who interacted with Texas Democrats who tested positive for COVID have now themselves tested positive, including a staffer for Speaker Pelosi. That might explain the Sunday preplanned health exam of Kamala Harris. She scheduled it on a Sunday. Everyone goes to Walter Reed on Sunday to get a regular routine exam… Despite these developments, Circle Back Jen Psaki still won’t call it a super-spreader event. I wonder if she’d have a different view if this was Texas Republicans. 

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2020 Election

Texas House Republican proposes bill repealing for forensic audit of 2020 election

The move comes as the Texas House Democratic delegation fled the state en masse to Washington, D.C., to deny Republicans a quorum to enact voting restrictions.

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A Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives introduced a bill Monday seeking a forensic election audit of the state’s largest counties.

The Texas Voter Confidence Act, filed by GOP Rep. Steve Toth, authorizes the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House — all of whom are currently Republicans — to select an independent third party to conduct the election audit. The review would focus on the votes cast in Texas’ 13 counties with a population over 415,000.

Former President Donald Trump carried Texas in the 2020 election, however, President Joe Biden won in areas including Houston, Austin and San Antonio — the biggest metropolitan areas in the state.

“We need a forensic audit to uncover all the voter fraud, Toth said Monday in a post on Woodlandsonline, a community web site. “Texans want to know more about the claims of voter fraud and deserve to have confidence in their elections…Voters want to know that their legal vote counts and matters.”

The move comes as the Texas House Democratic delegation fled the state en masse to Washington, D.C., to deny Republicans a quorum to enact voting restrictions. It also comes as GOP-led states have introduced or passed dozens of election-related bills following Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen. In states such as Arizona, where Biden won the presidential race,

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Republicans are also conducting a costly and controversial audit of ballots in the state’s largest county.

The act introduced by Toth would take effect immediately if it received a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each chamber of the Texas Legislature. If it passed but did not achieve that margin, it would take effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.

Rep. Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that the legislation appears to be based on “the lie that there’s widespread voter fraud and Donald Trump really won the election.” Turner said that the bill’s parameters also appear to include both Democratic and Republican strongholds in the states.

“I don’t know if these folks are aware of it, Trump actually did carry Texas,” Turner said. “So I’m not sure what they’re trying to find in their audit.”

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