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Hardline Republicans ask Abbott to relax statewide stay-at-home order

A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a wax museum where a statue of Pope Francis is on display in San Antonio, Friday, April 10, 2020. San Antonio remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak keeping tourist areas closed to the public. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a wax museum where a statue of Pope Francis is on display in San Antonio, Friday, April 10, 2020. San Antonio remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak keeping tourist areas closed to the public. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The hardline conservative Texas House Freedom Caucus has asked Gov. Greg Abbott to relax his statewide stay-at-home order to begin reopening the state’s economy.

“We respectfully ask that you loosen your state-wide executive order to the greatest extent possible while giving local jurisdictions the flexibility to respond to local jurisdictions,” the letter, dated Tuesday and signed by caucus members, reads.

The letter is the latest push from this faction of the GOP to start sending Texans back to work. State Rep. Matt Krause, a Fort Worth Republican and member of the caucus, sent his own letter to Abbott on Monday with suggestions to “get Texans working while still staying safe & healthy.” And state Rep. Mike Lang, R-Granbury, another caucus member, sent a letter to Abbott on Tuesday urging him “to continue your efforts to open up the Texas economy as soon as possible.”

Abbott said at a news conference Monday that he plans to make an announcement later this week about reopening business in the state. He also made clear that reopening the state’s economy will be a “slow process.”

“This is not gonna be a rush-the-gates, everybody-is-able-to-suddenly-reopen-all-at-once” situation, he said. — Cassandra Pollock