TSA pat-down bill dies in Texas Legislature

Dave Montgomery

AUSTIN — A controversial bill to ban intrusive searches by federal airport security officers died in the Texas Legislature on the final day of the special session today after the House refused to bring it up for consideration.

House members gave preliminary approval to the Senate-passed bill but fell well short of the 120 votes needed to suspend constitutional rules to bring the bill up for final passage. The vote was 96-26.

The bill, which has provoked opposition from the Transportation Security Administration, died during the regular session after TSA officials threatened legal action. But it surged back to life after Gov. Rick Perry included it on the special session’s agenda.

The bill by Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, had a die-hard fan base of largely conservative supporters, who are rallying behind it to end what they call widespread and invasive screening procedures by TSA agents.

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