AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House on Monday gave preliminary approval to legislation that prohibits invasive pat-downs by federal airport security agents after incorporating changes that led House Speaker Joe Straus to drop his resistance to the bill.
The Senate passed its own watered-down version of the bill Monday night. The measure now goes back to the House for another vote today.
The substantially reworked measure, however, ignited a new wave of hostility from another direction as scores of former supporters staged a noisy protest inside the Capitol to denounce the changes. Austin radio talk show host Alex Jones, who led the rally, said the changes "completely gutted" the bill.
The controversial measure, which has drawn national attention, also faced another adversary: time.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate, acknowledged that it will be a challenge to get the measure to Gov. Rick Perry's desk before the Legislature's special session ends Wednesday.
The Transportation Security Administration opposes the measure and has threatened legal action if it becomes law.
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