Monday, June 16, 2014

Lame-Duck Special Session: Invitation for Mischief

"A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident."
Proverbs 14:16

This morning, we awoke to the following story on Breitbart Texas:

HOUSTON, Texas—Activist Texans are petitioning Texas Governor Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the growing crisis on the Texas border with Mexico. The petition asks Gov. Perry to bring the Texas Legislature back into a forth special session to “develop and fund a border and port security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement.”


Over the Father’s Day weekend, many Texans gathered in a Facebook discussion thread to discuss the Texas Border Crisis and look for a solution. A conclusion of the discussion was that if the federal government was not going to secure the border then Texas can and should take the steps necessary to accomplish this task. The crisis came to a head earlier this month when Breitbart Texas released shocking photos depicting the deplorable living conditions of the recent surge in unaccompanied minors who are entering the country illegally in ever increasing numbers.

The idea grew out of a discussion involving a large number of people discussing the issue on Facebook. A spokesperson for the petition, Terri Hill, told Breitbart Texas that State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) joined in the conversation and said she has been working with the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Colonel Steve McCraw, to determine the cost of a sustained border security operation manned by Texas resources. Col. McCraw assured Riddle that Texas is capable of accomplishing the task of securing the border and executing the plan to achieve real results.

The cost is estimated to be approximately $1.3 million per week to secure the border ($67.8 million per year). The task now becomes, how to get the $67.8 million appropriated and put Col. McCraw and the Texas DPS to work. “I asked if a petition would help get the word out,” Hill said, “and help alert citizens to the severity of the matter and it was decided it would certainly be worth a shot.”


“Utilizing an online petition generator site,” Hill continued, “I created an account, entered our petition, made sure I included all the required information Representative Riddle said was necessary and we went live with it by 6:30 pm on Saturday evening.” The petition, Request for Immediate Texas Border Control, can be found online now. The petition states, "We, the undersigned, because the federal government has failed to act, call on the Texas Legislature to develop and fund a border and port of entry security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement."

A panic-stricken lame duck special session is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea.

In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature went on a wild spending spree.  It took them multiple special sessions to pass a pro-life law that should have sailed through during the general.  And people want to bring these clowns back into town?!?

While it's true that Governor Perry controls the agenda for any special session, it's also true that the legislators will be the ones actually writing the laws.  Does anyone think they won't abuse some vaguely defined charge like "border security" or "addressing the crisis on our border"?!?  Anyone?!?

Earlier this spring, we attended an interim Senate hearing that included a discussion about state-level border security efforts, as we wrote at the time:
In other words, you have a bunch of state and federal agencies with different sources of funding and accountable to no one not talking to each other and accomplishing nothing.
If we hastily pass poorly conceived legislation in a lame duck special session, it could make that problem MUCH worse.

In 2001/2, following 9/11, the Federal Government responded to panic stricken public demands to "do something" about terrorism.  The result was the TSA, the Patriot Act, and the Department of Homeland Security.  Do we really want to repeat this mistake on the Texas Border?!?

Furthermore, which Lt. Governor do you want to address this issue: Dan Patrick or David Dewhurst?!?

Nobody denies that the situation on our border is both a catastrophe and an outrage.  No one denies that the situation has deteriorated significantly in recent months.  But a lame duck special session isn't the appropriate mechanism to address it.  At best, a lame duck special session will add more bureaucracy to a system that already has too much of it.  If you're serious about border security, focus on electing Dan Patrick this fall, then address the issue calmly and rationally in the spring.

Never forget: The Margins Tax came out of a lame-duck special session....

1 comment:

  1. So we end up with about 500K new illegals in the state of Texas over the next few months and probably a few billion in new state costs because you'd prefer we just twiddle our thumbs. Really??