Texas House Passes S.B. 7 Voter Suppression Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republicans in the Texas House passed Senate Bill 7 on its final reading on Friday afternoon. Democrats in the chamber had attempted to delay the bill’s passage by proposing over 100 amendments to the legislation on Thursday night and continuing debate until 3 a.m. Friday morning. As a result, Democrats successfully fought for the inclusion of a slew of amendments that would mitigate some of the worst effects of the bill, such as new criminal liabilities Republicans wanted to establish for election volunteers and judges. However, the bill still passed out of the state House later Friday, with no Democratic support and one Republican voting against it.
The content of S.B. 7 has changed significantly since it was first proposed as the state Senate’s priority voter suppression legislation. Texas Republicans splintered over which voter suppression provisions they wanted to pass first, with House leadership pushing for their policies in another bill, House Bill 6. Before its House passage on Friday, the entire substance of S.B. 7 was replaced with the text of H.B. 6 in a key House committee. This means that the bill that passed on Friday contains the priorities of Texas House Republicans, not the state Senate, which will next have to approve the bill and its amendments before it goes to the governor.