Originally published July 1 2011
Texas TSA bill dies after House refuses to address it on final day of special session
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The infamous US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) anti-groping bill that floundered around the halls of the Texas State Capitol for a while has officially died, according to a recent report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. After getting introduced, then fading away, then getting introduced again, House Bill 41 (HB 41) never ended up making it on the House special session agenda.
When Texas Governor Rick Perry first expressed support for the bill, which would have prohibited the TSA from groping and otherwise touching travelers' private areas as part of the agency's security screening process, some were suspicious of his intentions. And after he initially abandoned efforts to have the bill introduced in the special session following Senate approval, these suspicions seemed largely confirmed (http://www.naturalnews.com/032769_TSA_Rick_P...).
Then, after receiving a pointed letter from Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), author of the House version of the bill, Perry reluctantly reintroduced the bill into the special session. But the legislature ultimately refused to hear the bill, as a vote to allow it as part of the session ended up being 24 short of the 120 needed to suspend constitutional rules. And one of the reasons why it did not garner enough votes is because some members had decided to simply go home.
Support for the anti-groping bill had been strong until federal officials threatened to cut Texas off from commercial air travel. After soaring through the regular House session with unanimous approval, the Senate backed off in response to these federal threats. But after much public outcry, Gov. Perry reintroduced it back into the House special session, where it eventually died anyway.
In a final speech, Rep. Simpson lambasted Texas' leadership for failing to pass the bill, but announced that efforts to stop the TSA from tyrannizing travelers are far from over. When Texas' biennial legislative session reconvenes in January 2013, Simpson plans to keep the fight going, and he is also urging other states with similar anti-groping legislation to continue pushing for passage.
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