After being accused by a Republican lawmaker of helping kill legislation to end child gender mutilation, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is fighting back against the allegations, calling them “irrational” and “blatantly false.”
A recent audio recording from the Texas Capitol, released by North Texas activist David Lowe, caught State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands) placing blame on Patrick and the Texas Senate for being part of the reason why the legislation was killed in 2021.
“It came over from the Senate ridiculously late, and they knew that we were going to have trouble,” said Toth. “There’s plenty of blame that needs to be spread around in this thing.”
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi immediately denounced the comments as false.
“Patrick passed the stronger child protection bill early in the session,” Rinaldi told Texas Scorecard. “When the House made it clear it would only pass the weaker bill, he sent that one over too. Dan Patrick did everything we asked for in this priority. It died in the House.”
Now Patrick is pushing back.
In a press release on Thursday, Patrick highlighted two separate bills passed by the Senate. Senate Bill 1646 was sent to the House on April 28. Patrick described that as saying it had “ample time” to be considered, but it never received a committee hearing in the House.
Later in the session, the Senate passed another bill—Senate Bill 1311—but it too was not given a House hearing. Patrick described that as a “Hail Mary effort.”
“The Senate passed multiple measures to protect Texas children, but every one of these bills ultimately died in the House,” said Patrick.
Patrick then took his criticism to Toth himself.
“Rep. Toth has a reputation for blaming others to cover up his own shortcomings on getting his bills passed,” said Patrick. “He pulled the same stunt last session by blaming the Senate and others for his failure to pass his critical race theory bill. In the end, it was the Senate that saved and finally passed that legislation.”
“Rep. Toth’s baseless allegations and misplaced blame have cost him any shred of credibility,” the lieutenant governor added.
Toth has not responded to Patrick’s comments.