AUSTIN, Texas — In the latest power-grab from the failed and flailing Texas Republican, disgraced Gov. Greg Abbott’s third irregular extra legislative session starts one week from today. However, while Abbott hasn’t finished with his attacks on Texans — or his new heights of government overreach — Texas Democrats are just getting started on our fight to hold Abbott accountable and take back our state.
As if his assault on healthcare and voting rights weren’t enough, Abbott has announced an agenda for special session 3.0 that revives his attacks on trans children and paves the way for furthering silencing of Texas voters through a Republican-led redistricting process that is sure to be riddled with discrimination. However, these barefaced attacks are showing Texans exactly where Republican leaders’ priorities lie — with personal gain over the interests of the people — and in the last month, Abbott’s increasing despotism has driven his approval ratings to an all-time low. As Abbott and Republicans gear up for another round of attacks on Texans, Texas Democrats will continue to rally people across our state in the fight for a better future. Here are five ways Texas Democrats will be fighting back during this special session:
- Texas Democrats will continue to lead the national struggle for voting rights. With President Biden signaling his support for filibuster reform in order to move federal voting rights legislation forward, Texas Democrats will continue to advocate fiercely for this critical legislation, including as a means to combat Republican gerrymandering.
- We will continue fighting for common-sense policies to protect Texas kids and families from COVID-19. Faced with Abbott’s attempt to outlaw mask and vaccine mandates within this special session’s agenda, Texas Democrats will continue to do everything in our power to combat Abbott’s callous and dangerous COVID-19 policies and keep Texas kids and families safe.
- We will remain an unwavering voice for the health, safety, and wellbeing of trans kids across Texas. Abbott is once again reviving his effort to ban trans kids from playing sports on teams that match their gender identity — a cruel attack that will harm kids across the state and subject children to invasive privacy violations. Parents, kids, educators, and trans advocates have testified at length on the harm these efforts are already doing. Democrats will continue to stand with advocates, stand up for trans rights, and fight to protect Texas kids.
- We will keep defending Texans’ right to healthcare. Eighteen months into a global pandemic, Texas Republicans continue to block efforts to expand Medicaid, and Texas remains the most uninsured state in the country because of it. Democrats will remain a voice for Texans’ right to healthcare — and as part of that, we will keep fighting for abortion access for those hit the hardest by Abbott’s illegal abortion ban, including rural Texans, people of color, and low income Texans.
- We will keep fighting to fix the grid. This legislative session is the fourth opportunity to fix Texas’ catastrophically unregulated power grid following winter power outages that took the lives of hundreds in February. However, just like in Abbott’s first two irregular special sessions, fixing the grid is nowhere on the agenda — in yet another example of Abbott putting his donors’ profits over the safety of Texans. Democrats will keep fighting to address this issue affecting people across our state and prevent another power outage disaster from striking.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“With yet another irregular extra legislative session starting in one week, Greg Abbott is acting more like a dictator with every passing day. This is yet another power-grab from a failed, flailing governor who will do anything to hold onto his job — even at the expense of our rights, our democracy, and the health and safety of Texans.
“Fixing the grid is nowhere on Abbott’s agenda. Keeping us safe from COVID is nowhere on his agenda. Instead, Abbott has laid out his intentions to once again attack trans kids, outlaw the COVID precautions that keep us safe, and clear the way for Republicans to further silence our voices through a discriminatory redistricting process. Faced with these attacks, Texas Democrats will continue to fight tooth and nail to protect the rights, health, and safety of Texans. Texas does not accept Abbott’s attempted dictatorship — and from now until next November, we will be working every single day to make Abbott’s current term in office his last one.”