Texas Governor Greg Abbott put the Dem lawmakers who fled the state of Texas in a doomed effort to block a new voting bill on notice saying they will be arrested upon return to Texas.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” Abbott said. “And the governor calls them, and I will continue calling special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he said. “Texas Democrats’ decision to break a quorum of the Texas Legislature and abandon the Texas State Capitol inflicts harm on the very Texans who elected them to serve. As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state.”
The Texas Dems issued a press release that said: “Today, Texas House Democrats left the state and broke quorum to fight back against state Republicans’ continued attacks on Texans’ freedom to vote.
“Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner, Mexican American Legislative Caucus Chair Rafael Anchía, Texas Legislative Black Caucus Chair Nicole Collier, Legislative Study Group Caucus Chair Garnet Coleman and Dean Senfronia Thompson released the following statement on the decision to break quorum:
“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.
“We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol. We are living on borrowed time in Texas.
“We need Congress to act now to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to protect Texans — and all Americans — from the Trump Republicans’ nationwide war on democracy.”
From The Daily Mail:
The Democrats’ departure paralyzed the Texas state house as the legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers be present to conduct business. It’s also akin to a move Democrats used in 2003 when they fled to neighboring Oklahoma to block Republicans’ plan to redraw the state’s congressional districts.
The Democrats risk arrest and expect state Republicans to send law enforcement officials, possibly including the Texas rangers, after them.
To permanently block the two voting bills that Texas Republicans are pushing, the Democrats would have to stay away through the end of the special legislative session, which can last as many as 30 days.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, demanded the Democrats show up to work and ‘put aside partisan political games and get back to the job they were elected to do.’
Rule 5, Section 8 of the rules of the Texas House of Representatives authorizes House to send sergeant at arms or other law enforcement to bring back lawmakers. Members may be " sent for and arrested, wherever they may be found" and "attendance shall be secured and retained" pic.twitter.com/6xmxfV21tH— Sam Levine (@srl) July 12, 2021
Texas Democrats' decision to break a quorum of the #txlege inflicts harm on the Texans who elected them to serve.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 12, 2021
As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts & our state.
It's time to get back to work. pic.twitter.com/XE8VcgOFhs
When it comes to protecting our right to vote, all cards are on the table. We broke #quorum again today because the Gov & #txlege Repubs chose to bully Texans out of our constitutional rights instead of finding solutions to problems that really exist. #SuppressionSession #DemsOut https://t.co/muMdHLSy9F pic.twitter.com/9UbJnB8ehW— Julie Johnson (@juliejohnsonTX) July 12, 2021