Texas Republicans Consider Charging Wendy Davis $2.4 Million For Special Session

wendy davis

Texas state representative Wendy Davis

When Wendy Davis made her epic stand in the Texas Senate, on behalf of women across the state, in an effort to filibuster an extreme anti-abortion bill, she ruffled the feathers of each of her Republican colleagues. Now they want to punish her for standing up to them by slapping her with the $1.6 million cost of the two special legislative sessions to pass it, plus another $800,000 if a third session is needed to pass legislation that was originally supposed to be the focus of the first session. In all, the total cost could reach $2.4 million.

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According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, GOP state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione thinks Davis should have to foot the bill on behalf of Texas taxpayers, and for not allowing Republicans to run roughshod over democracy.

“I am upset at the cost. I think we need to remember why we are having this extra special session. One state senator, in an effort to capture national attention, forced this special session. I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session. I am sure that she has raised enough money at her Washington, D.C., fundraiser to cover the cost.”

Wendy Davis then fired back, saying “It’s unfortunate that the leadership in power squandered taxpayer dollars pursuing partisan politics before Texas priorities and forced an unnecessary special session.”

As Think Progress points out, the original focus of the first special session was supposed to be on a transportation measure, but Republicans decided to make it all about restricting women’s reproductive rights instead. Their shift in priorities outraged women and led directly to the massive protests and marathon filibuster that caused the session to end without a successfully passed bill in the first place. So Governor Rick Perry called yet another costly special session of the state legislature to pass the bill they weren’t supposed to deal with originally. And now, Perry may have to call a third special session to pass the transportation bill that should have been passed the first time around. To sum it all up, Texas Republicans are squarely to blame for the cost of each of the special sessions they have called. They could have just dealt with the transportation bill and moved on, thus saving taxpayers money. But they couldn’t help themselves and deciding to focus on controversial legislation that would spark outrage and cause gridlock in both chambers. Did Republicans really expect Democrats and women to sit on their hands and allow them to pass the bill without a fight? Seriously?

The fact is, Republicans knew full well what they were doing when they brought up the abortion bill. They just simply didn’t give a damn about women’s rights or the cost to taxpayers. Now they are pretending to be concerned about the cost all of a sudden and are fantasizing about punishing Wendy Davis by forcing her to pick up the tab for the second special session. That not only makes Texas Republicans a bunch of sexists, it makes them a bunch of pricks too. If anyone should be forced to eat the price of the special sessions, it’s Republicans. They picked the fight, they wasted the time, therefore they can pay for each session out of their own pockets. After all, the anti-abortion bill they passed is going to force women to pay more to access abortion services, so it’s only fair that Republicans have to take a financial hit too. And let’s make that hit a Texas-sized one.

There are 95 Republicans in the House and 19 Republicans in the Senate. That means there are 114 Republicans in the Texas state legislature that wasted time on a frivolous bill that could cost taxpayers $2.4 million. That means each Republican owes taxpayers a total of $21,052.63 a piece. Pay up, GOP. The taxpayers want their money back.