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Monday, August 15, 2022

Is compromise still possible over Texas voting bill? Yes. It’s already written.

Texas House Republicans and exiled Democrats are about 1,500 miles apart geographically and even more divided politically.

The situation looks bleak for Democrats in Washington D.C., not just because they’ve endured a COVID outbreak in their ranks that cleared their in-person calendars and slowed their momentum but because Congress appears no closer to passing the federal voting rights legislation they were hoping for.

Republicans, meanwhile, are lamenting the unfinished work the Democrats left behind — including legislation addressing the latest urgent crisis in the state’s long-neglected foster care system and the so-called 13th check for more than 400,000 retired teachers.

But the truth is that Republicans had plenty of opportunity to address those important issues in the general session and chose instead to focus on censoring how schoolteachers talk about race and attacking transgender kids — some of the same pet issues they’ve piled like a double-decker fudge sundae on the special session agenda.

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders have no shame about using children and teachers in their political games. On the 13th check issue, the Chronicle’s Jasper Scherer reported on Republicans’ claim that they didn’t have the money in the regular session to fund the bonuses and added them to the special session agenda only after the Texas comptroller had announced they had more money to work with.

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