Capitol Protester Introduces Bill for Texas to Explore Secession

State Rep. Kyle Biedermann said Texans are "allowed the right to decide their own future."
January 28, 2021, 10:26pm
Texas, State Flag, Texas 'Lone Star' flag on side on bar, Texas.
Texas, State Flag, Texas 'Lone Star' flag on side on bar, Texas. (Photo by: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A Texas state legislator who marched at the Capitol on January 6 says Washington is broken so Texas needs to break out on its own. Republican Rep. Kyle Biedermann introduced the “Texas Independence Referendum Act,” on Tuesday, a formal bill that would make moves towards Texas seceding from the U.S.

“Voters of all political persuasions in Texas can agree on one thing, Washington D.C. is and has been broken,” Biedermann said in a statement Tuesday. “For decades, the promises of America and our individual liberties have been eroding. It is now time that the People of Texas are allowed the right to decide their own future.”

If House Bill 1359 passes, Texas voters wouldn’t be deciding to secede immediately. Rather, they’d be greenlighting a referendum on the creation of a “Texas Independence Committee,” made up of the lieutenant governor and several members of the state legislature, to draw up a formal plan on how Texas can leave the U.S. within the next five years. 

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The referendum could appear on the ballot as soon as this November if it can get enough support from both houses of the Texas legislature, according to The Texan, a local news outlet. 

But it seems that not many of Biedermann’s state legislature colleagues are on board with the plan. Fellow Republican Texas state representative Jeff Leach called the proposal “the most anti-American bill.”

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

It is unlikely that Texas would be legally allowed to secede. In 2016, Professor Eric McDaniel of the University of Texas in Austin told the Texas Tribune that after the American Civil War, the federal government ensured that the states could never secede from the rest of the country without its permission.

And even if leaving the union was legally possible, the chances of the bill succeeding are slim. 

A secession proposal like this hasn’t happened in nearly a century, according to The Daily Beast.  

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In addition to the bill, which Biedermann’s been publicly discussing since December, he created a petition to help build support. So far, 12,522 Americans have signed on, a far cry from the more than 17 million eligible voters in the state, according to the Texas Tribune.

This isn’t the first time Biedermann, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has made national headlines. In 2016, as a Texas House candidate, he had to defend dressing up as “Gay Hitler,” a one-off SNL character, at a 2008 charity fundraiser.

More recently, Biedermann made news after he attended pro-Trump rallies in Washington D.C. on January 6, the same day rioters stormed the capitol building as Congress met to certify results of the presidential election. 

“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 continue to ignore us,” he said in an interview on the Chris Salcedo Show, a conservative talk show on WBAP Radio.

There have been other rumblings of secession in the months since the 2020 election. In December, radio host and prominent conservative Rush Limbaugh said, baselessly, that there was “growing sentiment” of people who believed the U.S. was headed towards some type of secession, according to the Washington Post. He walked back the comments a day later. That same month, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West also alluded to the idea, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Texas state lawsuit to overturn Biden’s election victory.