HOUSTON — During its biennial conference in Houston last weekend, the Republican Party of Texas adopted two resolutions as official party statements, one on the 2020 election and the other addressing Congressional gun reform legislation.
The resolutions were overwhelmingly adopted by a voice vote Saturday as the last order of business before the multi-day convention convened.
The first claims that the 2020 election was stolen, stating, despite evidence to the contrary, that there was “substantial election fraud” in “key metropolitan areas” that significantly affected results in favor of President Joe Biden.
“We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people,” the resolution read, adding a call for Republican voters to work to ensure election integrity in November.
Election integrity, most recently fueled by the disproven claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, was a frequent talking point of many of the elected officials and delegates in attendance.
“We need to prevent our elections from being stolen,” one delegate said during a platform discussion meeting. “If we don't do something, all of our elections are gonna be stolen.”
The second resolution focused on the bipartisan gun reform bill deal reached in the U.S. Senate last week. That bill looks to enhance background checks for those ages 18-21 and passage of “red flag” laws that allow family members or police to go to court to seek removal of a gun from someone who may be a danger to themselves or others. If passed, the bill also looks to add penalties for illegal firearm purchases by convicted criminals.
Republicans at the convention made clear that they were not in favor of any restrictions on the Second Amendment, adding the measure to one of their top 15 preliminary party priorities.
The resolution also rebuked U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as well as the other nine Republican lawmakers who have supported the bill.
Dissent for Cornyn, a four-term senator, was evident at the convention when he was continually booed and heckled while giving a speech to delegates Friday.
“I said, ‘Let's see if we can find a better way of enforcing existing law and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,’ but I will not, under any circumstance, support new restrictions for law-abiding gun owners,” Cornyn said. “And despite what some of you may have heard, the framework that we're working on is consistent with that.”
Cornyn added the law was directed at addressing mental health and school safety and that he drew a “red line” when it comes to laws that suppress the Second Amendment. Some Republicans, however, were reluctant to believe it, with one delegate stating he believed Cornyn “metaphorically shot himself in the foot.”
Republican delegates over the weekend also approved their platform document with at least 270 priorities. The document outlines several policies they are in favor of, including language that describes homosexuality as "an abnormal lifestyle choice" and a push for students "to learn about the humanity of the preborn child.”
The delegates also named eight top priorities they want elected officials in the party to tackle immediately come next session in January. That list, however, has not been released.
Following the Texas GOP’s platform approval, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called the platform the “most extreme political doctrine this country has seen in decades.”
“Texas Republicans showed us that they live in a parallel universe full of conspiracy-fueled hate – and that they have a truly twisted view of our democracy and Constitution,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “From saying that our LGBT siblings are living an ‘abnormal lifestyle choice’ just for living as God created them, to declaring President Biden illegitimate, to transphobic trash that deserves no ink, to requiring students to listen to live ultrasounds, to aggressively rebuking even the mildest of gun safety legislation, the Texas GOP has shown that they have gone beyond the pale – and that they are too extreme to govern this beautiful, diverse state.”