On September 21, 2020, the Republican Party of Texas executive committee resoundingly passed a resolution calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to re-open the economy.
The message was simple, yet firm:
No Exceptions, No Delays…. Open Texas NOW.
In the resolution, Republican leaders urged Abbott to “immediately rescind all COVID-related mandates, closures, and restrictions” and restore normalcy in the Lone Star State.
Brandon Waltens of Texas Scorecard broke down what this resolution process looked like and the overall context of the call for a re-opening in Texas:
Consisting of one man and one woman from each of the state’s 31 senate districts, the SREC [State Republican Executive Committee] is, essentially, the governing body of the Republican Party of Texas, meeting several times a year to do the party’s business, such as organizing convention and passing resolutions. Rolando Garcia, the newly elected committeeman for Senate District 15 in Houston who authored the “Open Texas Now” resolution, says he was motivated by Abbott’s announcement last week, which allowed some businesses to open at 75 percent capacity while others were forced to remain closed.
“[Abbott’s] announcement last week about another incremental increase in capacity was the last straw. It is so blindingly obvious to everyone that the lockdowns and restrictions were a mistake and devastated the lives of so many people,” Garcia said to Texas Scorecard. “I really hoped that last week’s announcement would finally put an end to this madness. Instead, we just got more games about 50 or 75 percent capacity … for some businesses … in some regions. It’s such a farce at this point and totally disconnected from scientific or public health considerations. It was clear that the state party had to take a stand, so I authored and submitted that resolution.”
The resolution was passed with resounding support. 54 voted in favor and only four voted against it.
“If we were voting based on what we hear from the grassroots, it would’ve passed with every single vote,” Garcia continued.
Garcia made it clear that the resolution’s intent was not to “punish” Abbott, but rather push for Abbott to ignore the Fake news media and do the right thing. “For a state party to publicly disagree with a sitting governor of the same party is not something any of us take lightly, and the instinct of loyalty to leadership is usually pretty strong among party activists. So for this to happen underscores the depth of the anger and frustration out there,” stated Garcia.
The full resolution stated the following:
No Exceptions, No Delays….Open Texas NOW
Whereas, Texans have been under emergency closures, lockdowns, mandates, and restrictions for SIX MONTHS;
Whereas, state and local governments have exercised egregious overreach in misguided attempts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 disease;
Whereas, state and local government overreach has infringed on our Constitutional liberties – including our rights to property and to peaceably assemble;
Whereas, this egregious government overreach has resulted in unthinkable depredations upon the people of Texas, including left millions unemployed, countless businesses bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy, nursing home residents dying alone and isolated, lives ruined and dreams destroyed;
Whereas, COVID-19 can pose a serious risk, in particular to some at-risk groups, and requires Texans to act responsibly for the health of themselves and their loved ones;
Whereas, businesses and customers are fully capable of operating freely while undertaking reasonable precautions without top-down, government mandates;
Whereas, every day that closures and restrictions continue, they wreak havoc on the livelihoods and liberties of Texans,
Therefore be it resolved, the Republican Party of Texas calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to immediately rescind all COVID-related mandates, closures, and restrictions and to open Texas NOW. A copy of this resolution shall be sent by the Republican Party of Texas to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Republican State Senators, and Republican State Representatives.
Governor Abbott needs to act swiftly. Republican Governors such as Ron DeSantis in Florida have shown bold leadership on the Wuhan virus re-opening question. The Lone Star State cannot afford this lukewarm response to a pandemic that can be handled in a more bottom-up manner.