My Thoughts on Unconstitutional Vaccine Mandates & Convening the Texas Legislature for a 4th Special Session

November 29, 2021

Whether you decide to get vaccinated or not, this is your personal decision that should be made only by you—not government. I support your individual liberty and know that you can make the best decision for you and your family without government interference. I believe having personal autonomy over your health care decisions is a core freedom that we must fight to protect.

As you know, whether it’s the border, immigration, inflation, high gas prices or vaccine mandates the majority of Texas’ problems are generated by the federal government. In the federal courts we are fighting hard against the heavy handed vaccine mandates from President Biden and Washington bureaucrats. Texas has filed multiple suits and the feds are feeling the pressure.

It’s more than a bit confusing with so many lawsuits against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates but here is where we are today. It’s evolving almost daily but the battle continues:

• OSHA mandate (100 employees or more) – halted nationwide by temporary injunction 
• CMS mandate (Medicare/Medicaid providers) – also enjoined nationally
•Federal contractor mandate – enjoined only in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Texas’s suit in progress.

As you may know, in Texas we do have a very strong statewide executive order in place (that has the effect of state law) which prohibits mandates by both governmental entities and private employers. The Biden administration contends that its federal orders supersede Texas law. Texas has asserted in court our belief that the federal government does not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to order any vaccine mandates. Therein lies the controversy and our fight in court.

I have personally reached out to the Governor’s most senior staff and let them know that I support anything we can do legislatively to stop this unprecedented federal overreach regarding vaccines—including a 4th Special Session. But I also want to share with you the political reality of the Texas Legislature. Earlier this year, I coauthored many of the bills aimed at stopping this gross federal overreach and I sit on a committee that heard some of these bills. Without court intervention, as I discussed above, the federal vaccine mandates on federal contractors and health care workers would require full vaccination by January 4, 2022. In Article 3, Section 39 of the Texas Constitution, for a bill to take immediate effect or have an effective date earlier than 90 days after the session ends, it requires 2/3rd support or 100 votes. In the Texas House, we currently have only 83 Republicans. This is disappointing but a reality.  In other words, even if the Texas Legislature convened today, under the Texas Constitution it would be months before any change in Texas law could go into effect.  Regardless, I want Texas to pursue every avenue of help, including a new legislative session.    

In addition to addressing vaccine mandates, there are several other issues that are very important to me personally and to my constituents that didn’t make it through the legislative process. So, should Governor Abbott call us back in, here is a list of what I believe should be added to the agenda for a 4th Special Session.

-Felony penalties for illegal voting
-Abolish child gender mutilation/modification
-Enhance border security penalties
-Rein in executive powers during emergencies
-Prohibit cities/counties from implementing employment regulations on private business that is in contradiction with state law

We have a long way to go but there is solid progress.   I’ll try to keep you posted as we move forward.