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Texas GOP Congressman’s Ongoing Votes Against Party Issues Could Result in GOP Censure

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales might be censured by state Republicans on Saturday after he voted in favor of a gun safety law following the tragic Uvalde school shooting, which happened in the congressman’s district.

Gonzales is no stranger to censure; Medina County Republicans censured Gonzales last month after his votes continued to break from his party. The censure resolution stated that Gonzales “demonstrated a pattern of action demonstrably opposed to” the principles of the Republican Party of Texas. 

The 64-member State Republican Executive Committee will vote on the censure resolution in Austin on Saturday. In order to pass, three-fifths of the 64 committee members would need to vote in favor of the move. 

“We’ll see how that goes,” Gonzales said on Thursday when asked about the potential censure. He added that he will not be in attendance during Saturday’s vote.

President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the gun safety measure that Gonzales supported, into law last year in the wake of the Uvalde shooting, which took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. Gonzales was the only Texas House GOP member to vote in favor of the bill, and only one of 14 Republicans total. “If the vote was today,” Gonzales said on Thursday, “I would vote twice on it if I could.” 

On top of supporting gun control measures, he also voted to defend same-sex marriage, and was the only Republican to vote against the House rules package.

Republicans also accused Gonzales of being “anti-immigration” after he voted in opposition to fellow Texas Rep. Chip Roy’s bill that would require DHS to block migrants from crossing the border while their asylum requests are in process.

Gonzales’ district sits along the U.S.-Mexico border for 800 miles. He voted against the bill because, he said, “It proposes a total shutdown at our border to all migrants — leaving no exception for people in legitimate life-or-death situations.” 

The Texas Republican added, “Not only is this extreme — it could also lead to a greater reliance on smuggling groups for illegal crossings. There is no doubt that we need a tougher approach to border security, but to fix things long-term we need to take a deeper look at reforming our immigration system, not abolishing it.”

Gonzales has repeatedly stood by his stances, even if they do defect from his party, and sounded unfazed when the topic of the potential censure arises: “The reality is I’ve taken almost 1,400 votes, and the bulk of those have been with the Republican Party.”

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