TSA groping bill fails to pass in Texas for the second time 

The Transportation Security Administration did not have to resort to threats of legal action as the Texas “anti-groping” bill died in the House on the last day of the special session.

The Senate concluded their business on Tuesday and had tweaked the bill and sent it back to the House for a final vote, but it was too near the close of the special session. The House could not collect enough votes to “suspend constitutional rules to bring the bill up for final passage,”wrote the Houston Star-Telegram.

The original bill made it a criminal act for TSA agents to touch a person’s genitalia and the punishment was up to a year in prison and a maximum $4,000 fine. That bill died in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to shut down flights in Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry put the bill on the agenda again for the special session, and the Senate added provisions to the bill to allow for TSA agents to conduct a hand search when “reasonable suspicion” exists.

Crowds gathered at the Capitol on Monday to protest the changes the Senate made to the bill. The people in the crowd said the changes weakened the bill.

House sponsor Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, vowed to bring the bill back again next year, The Hill reports:

"We will never give up the fight for liberty," he said on his Facebook page. "Though we were not successful in passing the TSA bill to protect travelers' dignity, I am continually encouraged by the efforts of so many Texans who have fought hard to see the Constitution upheld."

Those against the bill in the Texas Legislature claim it is just a way of tweaking President Obama. House Speaker Joe Straus even called the bill a “publicity stunt” at first but changed his mind and supported the bill after the Senate made the changes the second time around.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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