AUSTIN –– The abortion restrictions bill stopped by a Senate filibuster and raucous crowd in the chamber gallery will pass "overwhelmingly" when lawmakers return to the Texas Capitol next week, Gov. Rick Perry said Friday.
Perry has called a new 30-day special session of the Legislature starting Monday to address the abortion bill that failed after a marathon speech by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth and disruptions caused by several hundred vocal demonstrators.
"It will pass overwhelmingly and will become the law in the state," Perry said in an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "I think the voice of the people of Texas will be heard."
Davis and legislative Democrats stopped the bill at the midnight Tuesday deadline of the first special session in part because Perry had delayed adding it to the agenda. This time, lawmakers can take up the issue immediately and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are expected to pass the bill for Perry to sign into law.
Perry, who ran for president in 2012 and is considering another campaign in 2016, also touched on federal issues during the radio interview, criticizing the immigration bill approved Thursday by the U.S. Senate.
"We will never have true immigration reform unless or until we secure our border," Perry said. "We don't need a new pathway to citizenship. We've already got one. Go get in line."
On gay marriage, Perry said that's an issue that should be left up to the states.
In 2005, Texas voters approved amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of a federal law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for state laws that recognize marriage equality.
"If you want to have that type of relationship, if you want to have that type of marriage arrangement in your state, that ought to be left up to the states," Perry said. "I think it's a long way from becoming a reality in states like Texas."