Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled their state last month to hold up GOP legislation are turning on each other as some members return home, risking a quorum in the state legislature.
Dozens of state lawmakers fled to Washington, D.C., last month in protest of GOP-backed state election reforms. The Democrats, who hold the minority in the legislature, fled the state to break the state House’s quorum and prevent the body from passing any legislation during a special session called by Governor Greg Abbott (R).
The first special session of the legislature ended on Friday, prompting many of the Democrats who had fled the state to return in time for a second special session called by Abbott. From an original party of over 50 lawmakers who fled the state, just 26 remained behind in D.C. over the weekend to continue protesting GOP-backed election reforms and other legislative priorities for Abbott and Republicans, according to the Texas Tribune.
On Monday, as many as 95 lawmakers were on the House floor at one time, five lawmakers short of a quorum that would allow the body to then pass bills. Some of the lawmakers on the floor included those Democrats who had returned from Washington, D.C.
“you all threw us under the bus today! Why?” Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos tweeted, tagging fellow Democratic Reps. James Talarico, Mary Gonzalez, and Joe Moody.
— Representative Ana-Maria Ramos (@Ramos4Texas) August 9, 2021
Democratic Rep. Gina Hinojosa also piled on, calling out Talarico, Gonzalez, Moody, and Rep. Art Fierro for all appearing on the House floor and risking a quorum.
“For transparency purposes it is important to note that the following Democrats are on the Floor now & no longer breaking quorum: @jamestalarico @RepMaryGonzalez @moodyforelpaso @ArtFierro79,” she tweeted. “Quorum is still not met. Praying no other Democrats willingly go to Floor.”
Democratic state Rep. Jasmine Crockett ripped into the lawmakers that returned to Texas over the weekend: “I’ve said this before… it’s a Team Sport… now we see who plays what positions on the Team… The fact that some of us secured a Temporary Restraining Order to protect ALL of us, yet some are trying to please the Governor and His OPPRESSIVE Agenda?! JUST WOW!”
“We have a vote this week in the US Senate on voting rights. They could at least wait until the vote. There’s nothing so pressing ar [sic] this moment to show up. Not to mention the restraining order allows you to be working in your district instead of on the floor against your district,” she added.
On Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court overruled a judge’s restraining order protecting the rogue lawmakers from arrest. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) followed by issuing arrest warrants for the Democratic lawmakers should they fail to show up to the legislature. No arrests have yet been made despite most Democratic lawmakers still refusing to show up to the legislature. The threat of arrest, however, has prompted some of the Democrats who returned to Texas to consider leaving again.
“There’s been talk of leaving again,” state Rep. Michelle Beckley (D), who remained in Washington, told the Tribune.
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