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LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas state capitol to protest state Republican-led efforts to pass legislation that would restrict the participation of trans student athletes. Photo: Tamir Kalifa via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 76-54 Thursday to pass legislation that would require public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The bill, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is poised to sign into law, would make Texas one of nine states that passed laws targeting tans youth this year.

  • Republicans backing the bills say the legislation ensures fairness in women's sports, although multiple states that have passed bills — including Arkansas and West Virginia — have been unable to provide evidence of trans athletes gaining unfair advantages in competitions, Axios' Orion Rummler writes.

Details: The House's Democrat-chaired public education committee had prevented three previous attempts to push the bill through the chamber.

  • The Texas Senate passed its own version of the bill last month.
  • The House version now goes back to the state Senate for procedural approval before it heads to Abbott's desk.

What they're saying: State Rep. Celia Israel (D), a founding member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, choked up on the floor describing her own coming-out story and speaking against the legislation.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Asher Price: Coming four years after business interests killed a bathroom bill that would have required transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on "biological sex," the success of this legislation shows the socially conservative wing of the Texas GOP is ascendant.

The big picture: 2021 has seen a record number of bills targeting trans youth.

  • "This has become the next political weapon," openly trans and nonbinary WNBA player Layshia Clarendon told Axios in August.

Go deeper

Advocates use defense bill to expand military protections for women

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

While debate over this year's defense bill is dominated by topics like China, Afghanistan and a president's authority to declare war, a quieter experiment is also playing: Advocates are using the legislation to test expansions of protections for women in the military.

Why it matters: The Senate resumed consideration the National Defense Authorization Act this week. Democrats and Republicans continue to squabble over key amendments to the bill, threatening to delay the must-pass legislation.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

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