Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Over 50 Texas House Democrats left the state on Monday in order to prevent a voting reform law vote. The move was a desperate attempt by lawmakers on the left to abandon their duties and avert a quorum in the Texas House.
Texas state law mandates that two-thirds of lawmakers be present in order for business to take place. Governor Abbott had called a special legislative session with several conservative issues on the docket which also included preventing mail-order abortion drugs, prohibiting the teaching of critical race-theory in schools, and preventing transgender students from competing on sports teams meant for student’s of the opposite biological sex.
This comes after Democrats staged a similar walk-out on May 30th to prevent the voting reform legislation, which prompted this special session. Top Texas Democrats released a statement saying their reason for going to Washington DC was to “refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.”
Joint statement from @ChrisGTurner, @RafaelAnchia, @NicoleCollier95, @Senfronia4Texas & @GFColeman on House Dems leaving the state #txlege pic.twitter.com/4xWdge801g
— Cassi Pollock (@cassi_pollock) July 12, 2021
They also said that they plan to meet with head Democrats to seek out national voting rights laws that would provide much looser restrictions for national elections.
The bills that they are trying to prevent from passing through the Republican-led House are Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3 which would add more hours to vote than ever allowed, but would also require ID for mail-in balloting and ban drive-through voting, 24-hour polling, and ballot drop-boxes. Democrats insist that this is a push to make voting more difficult for people, particularly minority voters, while Republicans say these guidelines are needed to ensure that voting is secure by confirming that all votes are legitimately cast by the person the vote is tied to.
Abbott told Texas news station KVUE on Tuesday that he will continue to “call special session, after special session, after special session” until the next election which isn’t scheduled until next year.” He also vowed to enact the Texas law, which allows for lawmakers to be arrested if they forsake their duties of public office:
As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done.
Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw called out the Democrats who fled the state, pointing out that while they are painting themselves as patriots for their actions, they are in fact lying about the nature of the proposed bills and simply “skipping work.”
Hard to imagine a more delusional group of people – thinking that lying about these bills, hopping on a chartered flight, sipping beer, and skipping work is “sacrifice.”
You guys are pathetic. Totally pathetic. https://t.co/bdvKavOr1J
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) July 13, 2021