The Texas Alliance For Life spent the weekend lobbying House lawmakers to show up for today's vote on SB 7, a major health reform bill that includes a couple of key anti-abortion amendments. Today, the organization had a photographer in the gallery photographing empty seats on the House floor — presumably checking for Republicans who had ducked out on the vote.
"We were concerned there wouldn't be enough Republicans and Democrats combined, which was the case on Friday, to bring up this important vote," said Joe Pojman, the organization's founder and executive director. "We wanted to reward members that showed up for work, which was their responsibility as elected officials, and let people know whose elected officials did not show up so those members could be held accountable."
The measure passed, with the anti-abortion amendments, with little fanfare. Just two Republicans voted no: Rep. Diane Patrick, and Rep. Fred Brown. (Brown voted no because the conference committee report took the teeth out of an anti-fraud amendment he'd added. We're waiting for a response from Patrick.)
Two other Republicans were excused from today's session, and didn't cast a vote: Reps. Joe Driver and Van Taylor.