Will it be SB 6, CSHB 2899 – or neither?

Dear Texas Pastors:

After the Texas Senate passed SB 6 and it arrived in the House on March 16, it was placed in the dungeon of “no committee assignment” by Speaker Joe Straus, which is where it remains.

We were told two weeks ago that there was “back channel” communications going on between Governor Abbott and House leadership and that “a bill would be moving out of the House after Easter and the budget.”  That bill turned out to be CSHB 2899, sponsored by Rep. Ron Simmons and which had a public hearing last week.  I testified on behalf of our pastors and presented the Texas Pastors’ Open Letter (collaborative work of TXPC and Family Research Council) that at that time contained signatures of over 750 pastors to the members of the State Affairs Committee.

We are now past that timeline and the word we have received is that committee chairman Byron Cook is “trying to get the business groups on board” before voting on it.  To be clear, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), the corporate business lobby for Texas, has vociferously opposed SB 6 and CSHB 2899 from the beginning and there is absolutely no reason to expect they will change their position.

In other words, it appears that the privacy, safety and decency of women and children in Texas are being held hostage by Byron Cook and Speaker Joe Straus – and that we are being patronized.  In spite of the massive pressure by pastors and congregations, conservative organizations and other citizens across the state, the Republican House leadership is still more afraid of the TAB (and their checkbook), the NCAA and the media than they are of the church and their own grassroots voters.

We will not be patronized by Republicans any more than we were willing to be intimidated by the Mayor of Houston.

ACTION ITEM:

  1. Pastors, we are asking ALL of you to take time TODAY and make a call to State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook at (512) 463-0730. If you do not get a live person please leave a message and call the Committee clerk at (512) 463-0814 :

“On behalf of myself and the many men, women and children I represent as pastor I am directly asking Chairman Cook to bring CSHB 2899 up for a vote of the State Affairs Committee today.  Will he bring it up for a committee vote?”

Politely make them give you a definitive answer.

  1. Please email me a very brief summary of his staff’s response to dwelch@uspastorcouncil.org or call it to 832-688-9166 so we can track responses for accountability.
  2. Please continue to have your prayer teams interceding for these bills and the Representatives that the mighty hand of our loving and just God will move the hearts and minds of Joe Straus and Byron Cook or move them out of their position.