Editors note: Quotes in italics are questions asked by Simone De Alba
SAN ANTONIO – A local lawmaker has proposed legislation that would allow Texans to vote on becoming an independent republic.
Representative Kyle Bidermann, the author of the bill, returned our call. We covered a lot of ground. Here’s what he had to say about the bill and about his experience in Washington D.C. the day of the insurrection.
The Referendum for Texas Independence is proposed by State Representative Kyle Biedermann out of Fredericksburg.
“There's a lot of misunderstanding about my bill, and it's not a bill for Texas, secession is what the media and so many other people are reporting,” Biedermann said to us. “This is a bill to let Texans vote on the future of Texas.”
On a website gathering signatures, the legislation is called “Texit”
“You're saying this is not a bill that would ultimately allow for a discussion of secession,” Simone De Alba asked the representative.
“Well, of course it would, ultimately, but that's a five-year plan at least,” Biedermann said. “And who does not want to have a discussion about the future of our country, the future of our state?”
In his bill, it reads under section 1A:
“The voters shall be permitted to vote in a referendum on the question of whether this state should leave the United States of America and establish an independent republic.”
We asked him to be clear.
“This is not a bill for secession, it's a bill to have a conversation about secession. Is that clear?” De Alba asked.
“Oh, that's, that's close,” Biedermann asked. “You're right.”
“Correct me,” De Alba said. “So, I want to make sure we're completely accurate.”
“This bill is not about leaving the union, this bill is about the Texas Legislature starting a plan and discussions and dialogue about the future of Texas and about our economy, and whether it's a possibility to even have this discussion,” Biedermann said.
He says this bill is a starting point
“Well, how would you reconcile a bill that begins a conversation about possibly seceding from the union? And then you go to a march in Washington about making America great again,” De Alba asked for you.
“That's right,” Biedermann said. “We want to make America great again. That's the whole point. And you only do that through peaceful protest and you only do that by exercising your first amendment rights, which includes voting also and free speech.”
Representative Biedermann was in Washington D.C. the day of the insurrection, we wanted to ask about his experience
“I wanted to ask you, specifically, you know, whenever we interview you, essentially, we're interviewing you on behalf of your constituents, especially given that we're based here in San Antonio, we're asking questions for people who put you into office,” De Alba said. “And it's my understanding that you were at the Capitol on January 6, which is the date of the insurrection. And I wanted you to walk me through what that was like for you what you experienced what you saw.”
Biedermann then responded.
“It was just the most amazing day, it was a million people praising God, singing songs, from all over the country, grandmothers, grandfathers, it was just an amazing, amazing time and people went there, not really knowing why they were there, except that they wanted to support a president that, you know, spoke to the people,” Biedermann said.
We asked about the violence that took place that day.
“There are a lot of people who might question that statement, and so any clarification you want to want to offer in that regard,” we asked him.
“Sure. The 100 people or so that cause violence, that was horrible, and totally condemned by everybody,” Biedermann said. “But being able to exercise your first amendment rights, that's something that, again, seems to be taken away from the people because they want to support President Trump and that's wrong.”
There are almost 16,000 signatures gathered on his petition. If the bill advances, Texans will vote during the Nov. 2, 2021 election.