Written on Thursday, June 30, 2011 by Ann-Marie Murrell
Because of (another) last-minute glitch, the Obama administration and DOJ got their wish when Representative David Simpson’s anti-groping bill died.
According the Longview News Journal:
The airport security bill, which attracted national attention, did not get a final vote after lawmakers failed to suspend the Constitutional rule that a bill be voted on twice over two separate days. The bill’s supporters needed 120 out of 150 lawmakers to suspend the rule to vote on it twice on the same day, which also happened to be the last day of the special session. The motion to suspend the Constitution failed on a 96-26 vote. There are 101 Republicans and 49 Democrats in the House, but 26 lawmakers did not show up for Wednesday. Most Democrats opposed the bill because supporters characterize it as defying Obama Administration policies on airport security.
The bill’s author Rep. David Simpson delivered a passionate, sometimes heated speech on the House floor on the close of the session.
After quoting Winston Churchill’s ‘Never give in’ speech, Simpson said, “This is not the last of the effort to stop unreasonable searches of our person. I am not giving up, and even if I did, I do not think the people are going to allow the violating of their rights to persist.”
And speaking for his constituents, he reminded people why he became a State Representative.
“Providence and the People brought me to the legislature. My race started without me. I was sought out by the people when they wanted a representative who would not only represent their values, but endeavor to keep the oath to the Constitution of the US and of this state — which as Jefferson once said are like ‘chains that bind down elected officials to keep them from mischief.’”
He continued, “I came to do what is right for the people — the people of my district and the people of the state of Texas. I did not come for special interests. I have sought to do what former Speaker Pete Laney told me early in the session: ‘Do what’s right; explain it; and you will be okay.’ He also said, ‘Don’t do anything you don’t want your wife or your mother to know about.’”
A portion of his speech also seemed directed at Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus, both whom were instrumental in trying to kill the bill.
“I am not only fed up with the TSA and its humiliation of travelers. I am also fed up with phonies — especially phony politicians who seek to take credit for legislation that they are at the same time seeking to kill,” Simpson said.
As for who was ultimately to blame, Simpson said it was Texas politicians.
“The defeat of this bill can only be laid at the feet of the leadership of this state,” he said. “However, this is a victory speech. The people in support of this bill have succeeded in shining the light on those who collaborate with the growing tyranny of our federal government.”