Texas lawmaker files bill to explore independence
Texas Republican Bryan Slaton has presented a bill that could set up a referendum to “investigate the possibility” of independence for the state of Texas from the US. Should the proposal be approved, a vote on whether to explore the option to leave the Union will be scheduled.
The bill, which state representative Slaton posted to Twitter on Monday, is officially titled the ‘Texas Independence Referendum Act’ – or ‘Texit’ for short. If it passes, the referendum on whether Texas “should reassert its status as an independent nation” will be scheduled for November 7, 2023.
Under the Texas constitution “all political power resides in the people,” Slaton wrote. “After decades of continuous abuse of our rights and liberties by the federal government, it is time to let the people of Texas make their voices heard,” he said.
He filed a similar bill in 2021 along with fellow republicans Kyle Biedermann and Jeff Cason, who cautioned at the time that the bill was not one for secession, but intended to start a “dialogue” on the idea. However, that first proposal “failed to receive a hearing and died,” Slaton recalled.
The Texas Nationalist Movement welcomed the news on Twitter, calling Slaton “our friend” and urging Texans to contact their representatives to support the bill.
In another post, the movement promised that a so-called Texit could “open possibilities that we’ve never even dreamed of.”
Not all Republicans are on board with the idea, however. Fellow state representative Jeff Leach slammed Slaton’s bill. “This ridiculous bill is the very definition of hypocritical and seditious treason and it is already dead,” he tweeted.
The bill comes after prominent Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene called for “national divorce” in February, saying that the US “needs to separate by red [Republican] states and blue [Democrat] states.”
The deepening division was confirmed by pollster Jeremy Zogby, who told conservative outlet the Washington Examiner last month that the idea of a breakup had been receiving “staggering support…across all demographics.”
Texas is not the only US state within which certain groups are vying for independence. Alaska, California, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Vermont, among others, all have their own secession movements.