Austin, Texas—August 2, 2017: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appeared in the most recent episode of the Jim and Michael Show, a collaborative media effort of Texas Right to Life and Empower Texans via Facebook Live. Hosts of the show, Jim Graham, president of Texas Right to Life, and Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Empower Texans, discussed the current special session of the Texas Legislature with Lt. Gov. Patrick.
The special session is now half finished. The Texas Senate has passed most of Governor Greg Abbott’s conservative reform items on the special session call, including five Pro-Life bills. Lt. Gov. Patrick explained that passing 18 of the 20 bills in just eight days required the commitment of Texas senators. Over the past eight days, senators have met for full weekends of committee hearings and spent several days working well past midnight, one day for 16 hours straight. Patrick said the passage of so many Pro-Life and conservative priorities was the result of “remarkable work by 31 people.”
While the Texas Senate has shown unprecedented efficiency in moving bills through committee and passing them on the floor, the Texas House has continued to lag. During the regular session, political games in the House led to the death of Pro-Life and conservative priorities. Governor Abbott called the special session in large measure to address this failure of House leadership, yet, once again, House members appear to be running out the clock.
Although Lt. Gov. Patrick did not directly criticize the House, he expressed concern over the lack of leadership and inability of House members to carry out the will of the people. The reforms on Governor Abbott’s special session call are supported by the majority of voters, including some Democrat voters, across the state of Texas. Patrick stressed that moving quickly does not require legislators to shirk their responsibility in considering bills. Although senators passed almost all the special session bills in eight days, they nonetheless heard from hundreds of witnesses in committee hearings and engaged in hours of floor debate before passage.
Moving into the final days of the special session, Lt. Gov. Patrick urged viewers, “Hold everyone accountable. Call your state representative.” He elaborated:
Bottom line is that we need to have better communication with the House…discuss what bills should be passed…we should sit down and have a plan. We need to have that communication, but don’t. I have not had one face to face meeting with the Speaker in nine months.
Texas Right to Life joins Lt. Gov. Patrick in urging all Texans to contact their state representatives. We cannot let the obstructionist antics and political games of the House sabotage Pro-Life and conservative reforms again.