The voter suppression legislation passed out of the House Elections Committee 5-4 today. From Elise Hu, we get this update:
@ eliselive Smith says unless there's compromise on House floor, chances of passing voter ID bill are less than 50%
So Republican Todd Smith will get just what he wanted:
“I believe to the bottom of my heart, if I was putting on my partisan Republican hat, the best thing that could possibly happen would be for this legislation to be narrowly defeated, so Republican candidates could go into these marginal (could go either way) districts and blame Democrats for elections being less secure than they could be,” Smith said.
Except it was the crazy right-wing Republicans that Smith actually caved to — Democrats were willing to compromise, but Republicans weren't and Todd Smith, because he has no leadership and always wanted the bill to fail, just caved to Republicans. As Todd Hill write last week:
Todd, you killed your own legislation before you even got it out of committee. You said, “here's my version, but I'll vote for yours if you want me to.” That's just pathetic, just plain pathetic.
Pathetic Republican leadership? What a surprise.
UPDATE: Some more quotes from Smith, thanks to Elise Hu (who's all over this):
“What I'm trying to do is act in a way that satisfy [the conservative wing's]concerns but also doesn't blow up this body,” said Smith. “But I don't pretend to control the votes on the House floor and it seems to me there are two possibilities: Either we reach some sort of consensus in a bipartisan fashion, or we will simply make a statement, have a record vote and go home having not passed a voter ID bill.”
“We got a choice to make. Do we want to pass a bill or make a statement? And it's clear to me that some members that simply want to make a statement. They're not interested in passing a bill.”
“Some members?” Try Republicans. It is House Republicans, and only House Republicans, that are blocking any compromise on this garbage legislation. Rep. Anchia was working on compromises for weeks. Democrat Rep. Joe Heflin voted for the damn thing (though it wouldn't have mattered if he voted against it — Bonnen only voted against the bill once he saw that Heflin had voted for it, which means Heflin coudln't have killed it even if he voted “no”).
Todd Smith — its your own party. Say Republicans — don't say “some Members.” It is the members of your party, the Republican Party of Texas, that refuse to move an inch and refuse to show any good faith efforts on anything.
Republicans wanted this bill — and now Republicans are trying to kill this bill. Simple as that.