The Senate’s decision to block HB 1937—the TSA “anti-groping bill” by Rep. David Simpson—brought a small mob of protestors to the Capitol today intent on doing a little molesting of their own.
Clamoring at the doors of the House and Senate, more than 40 protestors wielded signs that read, “Out of my pants TSA” and “Protect me from TSA” and chanted “TREASON,” CRIMINALS” and “COWARDS.” Their cries could be heard clearly in the Senate chamber and had lawmakers looking over their shoulders.
The protesters, organized by 9-11 conspiracy theorist and radio personality Alex Jones, were outraged by the Senate’s move to block legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for TSA agents to touch your “special parts.” The bill passed the House with little dissent, but hit a major roadblock in the Senate last night, when a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice caused some senators to withdraw their support for Simpson’s bill. The letter stated that Texas could be in violation to federal law if the bill passed, and that TSA, “would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crews.”
“Our bureaucrats at TSA were lobbying the lieutenant governor,” Simpson said after his bill failed to get the votes needed. Sen. Dan Patrick, the Senate sponsor, had 30 of 31 votes at the beginning of the evening, but 12 senators dropped their support after seeing the Justice Department letter.
Jones denounced the feds’ letter as a “threat of blockade” and, “an act of war,” saying the feds want to molest our babies and girlfriends. “Everyone of [the senators] are enemies of the Republic of Texas and the Republic of the United States,” Jones screamed to the crowd. “They shouldn’t be bending over to the federal government. They should be protecting our rights.”
Jones than urged the spectators to visit senators’ offices. Jones than led the mob through the Capitol halls, screaming battle cries of state sovereignty and prophecies of an imminent “info-war.”
“I think that this has brought a lot of focus to the federal government threatening and bullying states,” Sen. Patrick said, but denied having anything to do with the protests or with Alex Jones.
Jones called the impromptu protest two hours before on his radio show, but promised that next time, “he would come back with 50,000.”
And he may need to start organizing. There was one last chance for HB 1937 to pass late Wednesday night—before the Senate deadline to pass House bills. But Patrick couldn’t muster enough votes to bring the bill up for debate. The Senate adjourned a few minutes later—to more jeers from the gallery—and the TSA bill was officially dead for this session.
TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew.