The Back MicThe Back Mic: Congressmen Support Texas Elections Lawsuit, Lawmaker Submits PIR to Paxton, State Reps. Call for Expanded Vaccine Administration

This week — Texas lawmakers differ on support for an elections lawsuit filed by the attorney general and state representatives advocate for expanded COVID-19 vaccine administration.
December 11, 2020
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Texas Congressmen Back Paxton Elections Lawsuit

After Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a U.S. Supreme Court case against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin alleging the states violated the United States Constitution in conducting the presidential election, some Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation signed an amicus brief in support of the suit.

Here are the 12 who put their names to the brief:

  • Kevin Brady — Congressional District 8
  • Michael Burgess — Congressional District 26
  • Michael Cloud — Congressional District 27
  • Mike Conaway — Congressional District 11
  • Dan Crenshaw — Congressional District 2
  • Bill Flores — Congressional District 17
  • Louie Gohmert — Congressional District 1
  • Lance Gooden — Congressional District 5
  • Kenny Marchant — Congressional District 24
  • Randy Weber — Congressional District 14
  • Roger Williams — Congressional District 25
  • Ron Wright — Congressional District 6

Though Paxton’s lawsuit was met with support from some Republican members of congress, it has also been met with its fair share of criticism — including from former Paxton staffers. 

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), who once served as the attorney general’s top aide, tweeted, “Today, a number of my colleagues will be filing an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit filed by the State of Texas regarding the election results of several other states.  Respectfully, I will not join because I believe the case itself represents a dangerous violation of federalism & sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states.”

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State Rep. Requests Documentation of Paxton Lawsuit

Contrasting the support from some Republican lawmakers, state Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) requested that Paxton provide “answers on how much time and money has been wasted on his absurd effort to overturn the election.”

“The people of Texas have the right to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent in your office, especially when you have decided to dedicate precious public resources to such a nonsensical legal proceeding unrelated to the state you serve. Worse, you are misusing state resources in a cynical attempt to throw out millions of votes cast by American citizens,” Turner wrote in a letter to the attorney general’s office.

In the public information request, the North Texas state representative asked for documentation detailing taxpayer costs associated with the effort, the number of agency employees involved, and written communication with President Trump’s staff and legal team.

Legislators Call for Expanded Vaccine Administration

Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) spearheaded the release of a letter to Governor Greg Abbott, signed by 55 other members of the Texas Legislature, requesting that home care and hospice nurses be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccines. 

“It has come to my attention that licensed Home and Community Support Services Agencies (HCSSAs) and their employed healthcare providers do not currently have the statutory authority to administer the COVID-19 vaccines once they become available for distribution,” reads the letter. 

Howard writes that “there is no doubt that HCSSAs and their healthcare providers are frontline workers” and that she intends “to permanently address this statutory barrier” once the legislative session begins in January.

Of the 55 legislators to sign onto the letter, 11 are Republicans. 

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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.