TX Gov. Rick Perry Reintroduces TSA Anti-Groping Bill

Last Month, Texas was thrust into the news when a state senator introduced a bill that would make it illegal for TSA agents to conduct the agency’s enhanced pat-downs without proper cause. The Justice Department sent a scathing letter threatening action. The legislation died. But now, like Lazarus, it has risen again, thanks to TX Gov. Rick Perry.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Perry has reintroduced the bill to a special legislative session, a move that could bolster his possible 2012 candidacy even more.

“I’m very pleased that Governor Perry agreed to add this legislation to his Special Session call,” Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told the Chronicle. “Addressing unreasonable and unlawful searches of innocent travelers by some TSA employees is an issue that affects all Texans who use air travel, and it should not wait until next Session.”

According to the Chronicle, the move comes after Perry was confronted about the issue by a constituent at a book signing:

When he got to the head of the line and told the governor he was disappointed about his lack of support for the anti-groping bill, Perry said “Woo!” and then went on to say there wasn’t enough time in the special session to round up support for the bill. “They don’t have the votes on either side,” the governor said, trying to move Strackbein along. “That’s what I told them. I said, ‘Bring me in a multitude in votes.’”

Strackbein was polite with the governor but displeased. “This is a flimsy excuse, as the bills considered in the special session and the length of the session itself are the sole prerogative of Perry to determine,” he said later. “His comment, in effect, was: ‘I’m powerless to do what I’ve been empowered to do.’”

Even if the bill once again doesn’t gain full support, the move will certainly be seen by conservatives as a sign of strength regarding an issue that fires-up many of them.