Progress Texas has been tracking Greg Abbott for more than a decade. From his time as attorney general through his time as governor, we’ve seen a lot, and it’s hard to keep track of every wrong thing he’s done. With Election Day so close, we’ve decided to compile a list of some of Abbott’s worst moments.
Here we go…
- Abortion bans
- Abbott didn’t just outlaw abortion; he outlawed abortion twice. Because of him and Republicans in the Texas Legislature, abortion is banned both at six weeks and from the moment of conception. Neither ban includes an exception for those pregnant by sexual assault or incest.
- When Abbott was questioned about why he didn’t push for an exception in these cases, he said he would “eliminate rape” in Texas. He gave up on that promise pretty quickly.
- At the Texas Governor’s Debate, instead of conceding that Texans need exceptions, Abbott reaffirmed his idea that survivors can “take Plan B.” Plan B is not a viable option for many Texans, and survivors of abuse should be able to access care in whatever way they feel is right for them.
- No gun reform
- Abbott didn’t call a special legislative session after 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered by an assault rifle in Uvalde, Texas. He did call a special session to restrict voting rights and ban abortion.
- There have been six mass shootings under Abbott’s watch:
- 2016: Dallas Police Shooting - 5 Killed
- 2017: Sutherland Springs Church Shooting - 26 Killed
- 2018: Santa Fe High School Shooting - 10 Killed
- 2019: El Paso Walmart Shooting - 23 Killed
- 2019: Midland-Odessa Shooting - 7 Killed
- 2022: Uvalde School Shooting - 21 Killed
- Instead of passing common sense gun reform, like raising the minimum age to buy an assault rifle, Abbott made accessing guns easier. In 2021, he passed permitless carry. Because of him, Texans can openly carry a gun without a license or training.
- Texas school turmoil
- Rather than act on gun violence or improve public school conditions, Abbott advocates for school vouchers. He’s allowed the Texas public education system to crumble, and instead of cleaning up his mess, he’s giving up on public schools altogether.
- The Texas teacher shortage isn’t due to a lack of people wanting to teach. Schools are understaffed because teachers aren’t getting paid enough, they have few retirement benefits, they’re not given the support they need, and right-wing culture wars spurred by conservative politicians are making their jobs more challenging than ever. If Abbott’s looking for the cause of all this chaos, he should look in the mirror.
- Texas has more books banned than any other state.
- Two-thirds of board members overseeing Texas public universities are Abbott donors wielding heavy influence on our schools.
- Abbott still hasn’t fixed the damn grid
- Decades of Republican deregulation and years of Abbott in power set the stage for one of the biggest energy disasters our state has ever faced. And even after hundreds of Texans died in the 2021 winter storm due to the state’s failing grid, Abbott did little to fix it.
- Abbott took millions from energy companies who made BILLIONS off of Texans during the storm.
- Texans got stuck with an “Abbott Tax,” which will hike up our utility bills for decades so that Abbott and his donors can continue stuffing their pockets with our money.
- A recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report says Texas’ power grid is still vulnerable.
- Attacking LGBTQIA+ Texans
- After calling multiple sessions in 2021 to get discriminatory legislation passed, Abbott signed a law banning transgender athletes from participating in school sports.
- This year, he launched investigations into families of trans kids receiving life-saving, gender-affirming care.
- In 2015, after SCOTUS legalized same-sex marriage, Abbott continued fighting against marriage equality and benefits for same-sex couples.
- He signed a law allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ+ families.
- In 2017, Abbott called a special session to revive the “Bathroom Bill,” which would have regulated bathroom use by transgender people in public buildings.
- In 2019, Abbott openly objected to Chick-Fil-A's decision to stop funding anti-LGBTQ organizations.
- His COVID-19 response was and still is abysmal
- Abbott invited officials to interpret his executive order on masks as if it were a riddle.
- He banned school mask mandates in the middle of a global pandemic.
- Abbott reopened bars and restaurants too early, resulting in a spike in COVID cases; he knew re-opening the state too early would cause further spread of the virus, but he did it anyway (we got it on tape).
- When Abbott issued a “stay at home” order, he refused to call it a “stay at home” order.
- He sued school districts over mask mandates and flubbed the entire pandemic response.
- He’s refusing to legalize marijuana and pardon possession offenses
- When President Biden pardoned low-level marijuana possession offenses, he called on state governors to follow his lead; Abbott declined.
- Despite most Texans supporting marijuana decriminalization and legalization, Abbott continues to refuse calls for reform.
- Abbott doesn’t even understand Texas marijuana law — how embarrassing.
- In the words of our digital manager, Sam González, when it comes to weed, Abbott is “a lame a** dork.”
- Border stunts
- Abbott’s most prominent border policy, Operation Lone Star, has already cost Texas over $4 billion.
- He recently diverted $359.6 million from Texas prisons to keep his border mission operating.
- Earlier this year, he launched truck inspections at the border, costing the U.S. almost $9 billion in just 10 days; troops found no contraband.
- His lack of planning has negatively impacted National Guard Troops deployed at the border, where suicides and deaths among troops have multiplied. Due to an error in the state’s payroll, National Guard Troops might also owe federal tax money.
- Plus, Abbott is still busing migrants north without communicating with the cities he’s sending them to!
- Not accepting responsibility for his own housing crisis & economic issues
- Abbott has been in office for nearly eight years but loves to blame economic issues on Biden, who has been in office for less than two years. Republicans have dominated Texas’ executive and legislative offices for decades, and any economic issues we’re seeing at the state level are a direct result of Republican leadership.
- The minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation and still remains at the federal rate of $7.25 which was set in 2009!
- Property taxes have gone up $20 billion since Abbott took office, but Texans are not seeing stronger schools or a stronger energy grid. Instead, they see $4 billion go to stunts like Operation Lone Star at the border.
- Texas’ juvenile detention centers and foster care system are in shambles
- Texas’ juvenile detention centers are severely understaffed and nearing total collapse, with an employee turnover rate of over 70%. Some teens spend up to 23 hours in cells, using bottles to go to the bathroom, and self-harm is rampant.
- According to the Texas Tribune, during the COVID pandemic, Abbott and the Texas Legislature took money away from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department four times. Much of that money went toward Operation Lone Star.
- Texas’ foster care system is facing similar turmoil. Youth in our foster care system have been “exposed to sexual abuse, given the wrong medication, and neglected in unlicensed placements” by untrained staff.
- BONUS Fact
- Despite being disabled himself, Abbott is working against disabled Texans.
- He argued that disabled Texans don’t have the right to sue the state for discrimination.
- He also supported capping pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice suits, despite getting over $8 million in settlement money from his injury.
- Texas ranks at the bottom of every list that counts for people with disabilities. This ad covers everything pretty well.
Election Day is Nov. 8. For information on Voter IDs, election deadlines, and more, check out GoVoteTexas.org!
If you or anyone you know runs into issues at the polls, call or text one of these numbers to speak with a trained Election Protection volunteer:
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