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PRESS RELEASE: MILLER DEMANDS GOVERNOR, HOUSE & SENATE LEADERS ACT TO STOP FLEEING LEGISLATORS (7/12/2021)

For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2021

 

COMMISSIONER MILLER DEMANDS GOVERNOR, LT. GOV & SPEAKER ACT TO STOP FLEEING LEGISLATORS

Letter asks Abbott, Patrick and Phelan take immediate action against fleeing Democrats

 

(AUSTIN)  Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has sent an official letter to Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan to take immediate action to stop Democrat legislators from fleeing the state to break a quorum, thus ending debate in the recently called legislative session.  

 

"I am calling on Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan to immediately place a call on the Texas House and Texas Senate," Miller writes, "the doors of both chambers to be locked, and that officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety be ordered to forcibly detain any legislator attempting to leave the House or Senate Chamber and to seek out and arrest any member who has already fled the building."

 

Miller also calls on the Lt. Governor and Speaker to strip any legislator who flees the state of any chairmanship or other leadership responsibility in the Senate or House, respectively. 

 

"As I travel across our great state, I am reminded that the people of Texas expect their elected representatives to do their jobs and be on the job and at work when the Texas Legislature is in session," Miller continues.  "There must be consequences for bad behavior, and I call on each of you to ensure that the planned theatrics by some legislators to deny the will of the majority of Texans are met with firm, swift, and lasting ramifications."

 

The text of the entire letter is included below:

 

July 12, 2021

 

The Honorable Greg Abbott

Governor of Texas

P.O. Box 12428

Austin, Texas 78711

 

The Honorable Dan Patrick

Lieutenant Governor of Texas

P.O. Box 12068

Austin, Texas 78711

 

The Honorable Dade Phelan

Speaker of the Texas House

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

 

Dear Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and Speaker Phelan,

 

As a Texan and a statewide elected official, I was pleased that Governor Abbott had called a special session of the 87th Texas Legislature to address several critical issues that failed to be addressed during the regular session. Chief amongst those issues was election integrity and voting reform legislation which had been named a priority issue by the Governor at the outset of the regular session.

 

Now, it appears that a large number, if not all, of the Democratic members of the Texas House and some in the Texas Senate are preparing to flee the state in order to break quorum and, once again, deny the people of Texas the opportunity to have legislation passed and signed into law which will give them confidence in the election process in our state and be assured that legally cast votes are counted and illegally cast votes are not.

 

Those who choose to shirk their constitutionally mandated responsibilities must understand that there will be severe consequences should they take actions which prevent the legislature from doing its job.

 

That is why I am asking for the following actions to be immediately taken:

 

First, I am calling on Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan to immediately place a call on the Texas House and Texas Senate, the doors of both chambers to be locked, and that officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety be ordered to forcibly detain any legislator attempting to leave the House or Senate Chamber and to seek out and arrest any member who has already fled the building.

 

Secondly, I call on Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan to immediately strip any member of the Texas House or Senate who knowingly and willfully breaks quorum, or attempts to do so, of any Committee Chairmanship, Vice Chairmanship, or membership in a substantive committee they may hold and to withhold any per diem they may have normally been entitled to receive.

 

Third, I ask Governor Abbott to consult with the Texas Attorney General and to research other sanctions, legal remedies, and/or violations of state law which may be enforced upon legislators who fail to meet their constitutional obligations and their obligations to the people who elected them.

 

As I travel across our great state, I am reminded that the people of Texas expect their elected representatives to do their jobs and be on the job and at work when the Texas Legislature is in session. There must be consequences for bad behavior, and I call on each of you to ensure that the planned theatrics by some legislators to deny the will of the majority of Texans are met with firm, swift, and lasting ramifications.

 

Thank you for your attention to this letter and for your continued service to the people of the State of Texas.

 

Sincerely,

 

[signed] Sid Miller

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture

 

The letter can be downloaded as a PDF here.



CSM Letter to Leadership.pdf