Keyword: vaccines

Special Session agenda inflames intraparty GOP voucher conflict, while tapping into broad Republican consensus on border, immigration, COVID, and vaccines

| By: Jim Henson

Gov. Greg Abbott’s much-anticipated agenda for the third Special session of the 88th Legislature delivered the expected calls for action on vouchers and items related to immigration and border security, with the addition of another nod to the concerns of the right wing of his party, legislation prohibiting COVID-19 vaccines by private employers. 

Confronting the voucher issue yet again – unavoidable as a result of campaign promises, elite politics with the Texas GOP (especially involving the governor and lieutenant governor), and the deep pockets of a small but persistent group of large donors – promises to stoke the already-raging internecine conflicts among Republicans in the legislature. The remaining items – focused on immigration and border security issues and the retro-feeling COVID vaccine item – will intentionally remind Republicans that there are plenty of things that unite the mostly extreme-right activists who are most fired up about vouchers (and the injustices meted out to Attorney General Paxton) and the less activated Republican voters (and elected officials, for that matter) who are less attentive to, let alone motivated by, either vouchers or the Paxton imbroglio.