The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Texas congressman who backed gun-control bill faces GOP censure vote

Rep. Tony Gonzales cast the vote in the last Congress after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is part of his district

Flowers and candles are placed around crosses on May 28 at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., to honor those killed in the school shooting. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
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Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.) is facing a censure vote this weekend from the Texas Republican Party for actions including voting in favor of a bipartisan gun-control package during the last Congress after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is in his district.

The state party’s expected censure would follow a similar move by a county party in Texas, which also cited Gonzales’s support for same-sex marriage legislation in the last Congress and votes against a House rules package and border legislation in this Congress. The censure resolution by the Medina County Republicans concluded that Gonzales has been “a poor representative” of his constituents.

The San Antonio Report, which first wrote about the statewide censure effort, said the State Republican Executive Committee is expected to vote Saturday. To pass, the effort would need the support of three-fifths of the 64 committee members.

If successful, the state GOP’s move could encourage other Republicans to run against Gonzales in a primary next year or deny him party funding.

Gonzales’s office had no immediate reaction on Thursday.

The congressman, who was elected in 2020, is an opponent of a bill introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) that would require that asylum seekers be detained while their cases are processed. Of all lawmakers, Gonzales represents the largest stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Gonzales’s objection and the opposition of several other Republicans have thwarted efforts by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to bring an immigration bill to the House floor despite repeated promises during the 2022 campaign.

The gun-control legislation that Gonzales supported expands criminal background checks for some gun buyers, bars a larger group of domestic-violence offenders from purchasing firearms and funds programs that would allow authorities to seize guns from troubled individuals. It also provides additional funding for mental health services and school security initiatives.

A bipartisan group of senators, including John Cornyn (R-Tex.), negotiated the gun-control package. Gonzales was one of 14 House Republicans to support the bill.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the mass shooting on May 24 at Robb Elementary School.