Special Session Update & Agenda: Where are the Democrats??

July 15, 2021

I know many of you feel a sense of urgency about the House Democrats fleeing Texas to D.C. on their private jet.  I do as well.  Believe me, I don’t like being stuck in Austin all summer away from family, work, church and my constituents. I don’t like missing our family vacation (they’re in Colorado as I write this).  But it is my duty to show up and do the people’s work. 

The Democrats fled because THEY believe the items on our Republican special session agenda are bad for Texans—things like secure elections, reducing abortions, cutting property taxes, stopping CRT in schools, border security, etc.  The Democrats apparently despise these things and don’t have the courage for a debate—enough to run away from the state.  We will wait them out.  The Democrats will wear out eventually and return and be brought to the Texas Capitol by state police if necessary.

In the end we will get our Republican agenda done.  It just will take some time.  I’ve been through this before in 2003 when they fled to Oklahoma.  It calls for patient endurance but in the end Texas wins.  The Democrats will fail and will face serious consequences.

Here’s more back story on what got us to today—-

On July 8th, the Texas Legislature convened the 87th 1st called Special Session.  To start, the Governor added 11 legislative priorities to the special session agenda and he is expected to add more.  It’s a strong, ambitious pro-business, pro-family, law & order agenda.

In the first four days of special session incredible progress was made in the House.  The election integrity and bail reform bills were heard and passed out of a 23.5 hour committee hearing.  Legislation to give our retired teachers a 13th check was passed out of committee.  Hearings were scheduled on an array of topics such as preventing abortion-inducing drugs from be mailed, discussion on the humanitarian crisis on the border and the impact for unaccompanied minors, a critical update on the status of our electricity grid and progress toward implementing new policies, redistricting hearings to receive stakeholder input and more. 

And all of this came to a screeching halt when the Democrats decided to run away from doing the job Texans elected us to do, breaking the constitutional quorum required for us to do business in the Texas House.  The next morning, Tuesday, my colleagues and I passed a “call of the House” to secure the return of absent Democrat members until we have a quorum.  This “call” directs the DPS to locate, detain and bring the missing Democrats back to the Capitol. Unfortunately, DPS does not have jurisdiction outside of Texas.  That’s why the Democrats fled the state.  The call also means that we who are present are confined to the House chamber through August 6th unless the Speaker gives permission to members to leave for a period of time.  I have today’s House pass in my pocket as I type this over lunch.

Please be praying for the members of the Texas House and our families.  The opportunity to serve is an honor but it can be a sacrifice at times—-especially for our family.  It requires us to spend a lot of time away from our loved ones, our community and our businesses.  It’s frustrating sitting idly by while the Democrats wine and dine in DC.  When the Democrats do return, tensions will be very high.  We must always treat others the way we want to be treated.  However, before this concludes there must be serious consequences to deter this type of behavior again.  Pray that we make the right choices and decisions for our district and Texas.  

As always, I really appreciate hearing from you and am eager to listen. Your calls and emails to the office are a tremendous help.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of assistance.


The special session agenda currently includes:

  • 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.
  • ABORTION-INDUCING DRUGS: Legislation to prohibit 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 relating to a “thirteenth check” or one-time supplemental payment of benefits under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • ARTICLE X FUNDING: Legislation providing appropriations to the Legislature and legislative agencies in Article X of the General Appropriations Act.
  • 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.
  • FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Legislation 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 disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth.
  • 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.