More than 3,500 people came to the Capitol and registered a position on the bill, and more than 1,100 signed up to testify. But fewer than 100 people had a chance to express their views because the top Republican on the committee limited testimony to eight hours and refused entreaties to extend it.And apparently Texans have a lot more testimony to give, not that Republicans are interested in listening. Democrats on the committee, too, were restricted:
"We took testimony in the regular session, in the first special. We've taken a lot of testimony," said House State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, in explaining his decision.
Just before the committee's vote, [Democratic state Rep. Sylvester] Turner tried to offer amendments to the bill, but Cook refused to recognize him or any other Democrat.Texas Republicans don't want to listen, though. They want to get done in this special session what they couldn't in the last one and ram through an unconstitutional bill that would ban abortions at all but five clinics in the state, forcing many women to travel hundreds of miles for care. Texas voters and medical associations alike oppose the bill. But no matter. Republican legislators, Gov. Rick Perry, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are determined.
"You can bring it up on the (House) floor," Cook said.
Turner replied angrily to Cook cutting him off, "You know that's just wrong!"