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Delay tactics slow Texas House on anti-gay marriage bill as key deadline looms

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“While it could be considered a delaying tactic, we honestly have problems with these bills,” said Rep. Mary Gonzalez, an El Paso Democrat who has taken to the floor repeatedly to ask questions or raise unsuccessful amendments.

Plano Republican Rep. Jeff Leach was unmoved: “I have no question that there’s a deliberate and intentional effort by some to slow things down even more than they already are.”

“The reality is, there’s a lot of good bills that die,” Leach said. “A lot of bad bills die, too.”

Adding to the pressure, meanwhile, is an impasse over the best way to cut taxes in the proposed state budget. House budget writers are backing the state’s first-ever sales tax cut, but their Senate counterparts prefer rolling back property taxes.

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Unlike House bills, the budget doesn’t have to be passed Thursday – so there’s still plenty of time to finagle. A proposed compromise could see the House scrap its sales tax cut proposal in favor of deeper tax breaks for businesses, but top House budget leaders say they’ve not agreed to that.

And, as House tempers run short with their chamber nearly at a stand-still, any budget deal could also be delayed.

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