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Republican in Texas House calls secession bill ‘anti-American’

Alex Briseno
Dallas Morning News

Austin, Texas – A bill a Republican state legislator plans to file that would allow Texas to vote on reestablishing itself as an independent nation received pushback from state Rep. Jeff Leach, who called the bill “anti-American” and a waste of time.

In December, state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, of Fredericksburg, took to Twitter to announce his plan to introduce the “Texas Independence Referendum Act,” saying, “The federal government is out of control and doesn’t represent the values of Texans. That is why I am committing to file legislation that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation. #Texit”

Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) visits with colleagues during the House opening ceremony for the 87th Texas Legislature at the Texas Capitol building in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

Just over one month later, Biedermann’s bill received social media backlash from Leach, a Republican from Plano, who called it a “ridiculously outrageous waste of time” on Twitter.

“It’s a joke and should be treated as such,” Leach’s tweet continued. “Yes, I have concerns for our Nation. But I still believe in the promise of America – and the vast majority of Texans do too!”

Biedermann replied to the tweet asking, “So I’m guessing you won’t be co-authoring the Texas Independence bill I’ll be filing tomorrow?”

Leach replied once more, saying the bill seems like the “most anti-American” bill he’s seen in his four-plus terms in the Texas House.

“It’s a disgrace to the Lone Star State,” Leach’s tweet said. “The very definition of seditious. A true embarrassment. And you should be ashamed of yourself for filing it.”

Last week, Biedermann confirmed in an email that he “peacefully marched” with thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6 before a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung first reported.

“On Jan. 6, I, along with thousands of Americans, peacefully marched on our nation’s Capitol to make our voices heard,” Biedermann said in the email. “It was unfortunate that some used this gathering to sow discord and promote violence.”

As reported by San Antonio’s KSAT-TV, Biedermann told Dallas-Fort Worth talk radio host Chris Salcedo on Jan. 7, the day after the insurrection, that “a few radicals … caused the trouble” at the Capitol.

“We came because we wanted to be heard and we’re sick and tired of what’s been going on by the elite media and the elite politicians who continually ignore us,” Biedermann told Salcedo.

Abhi Rahman, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, urged Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders in the state to call for Biedermann’s resignation.

“Kyle Biedermann attended a rally and participated in domestic terrorism. Full stop,” Rahman said. “He must resign from the Texas Legislature immediately, and short of that, be expelled. It’s time for Texas Republicans to put up or shut up. They either support domestic terrorists or they don’t.”

As for the “Texas Independence Referendum Act,” backlash is evident on both sides all before the bill has been filed, even though Texas can’t legally secede from the United States.