Texas Democrat lawmakers absconded from the state on Monday in a theatrical fashion as they subverted democracy by denying the legislature the quorum needed to approve bills in Governor Greg Abbott’s special session agenda.
“Private planes carrying more than 50 Democrats left Austin for Dulles International Airport midafternoon, skipping town just days before the Texas House of Representatives was expected to give early approval to sweeping new” voter integrity laws in the special legislative session, The Associated Press reported. “The numbers meant the House would not have enough lawmakers in attendance to conduct business and could not, at least for now, vote on the bill.”
This is the second time that Texas Democrats have bolted from the state legislature to stop measures from becoming law because they have no path “to permanently block the voting measures, or a list of other contentious GOP-backed proposals up for debate,” the report added.
Abbott instructed Texas lawmakers to also consider bills that would protect girls from having to compete against biological males in sports, fund arrests of illegal aliens, clampdown on abortion, and crack down on racist Critical Race Theory being taught in schools.
National Review added:
One measure on the table was the Lone Star state’s version of an elections bill, known as Senate Bill 7, which more closely regulates the rights of poll-watchers and the conditions under which they can be excluded from polls, bans 24-hour and drive-thru voting, and cracks down on paid “ballot harvesting” as well as mass mail-in ballot distributions.
To block the pending legislation, the Democratic lawmakers will need to stay out of the capitol in Austin through the end of the special session, which can last a maximum of 30 days under the state’s constitution. While they’re not in the chamber to conduct business, the legislators technically risk arrest, as state Republicans can authorize law enforcement to bring them back to the state for session.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki absurdly claimed on Monday that Republican election integrity laws were “the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War.”
Psaki made the remarks when asked by a reporter at the White House press briefing about what the administration’s strategy was to combat efforts by Republican lawmakers around to secure elections.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing and how he will use, he will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental rights of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws,” Psaki claimed, adding that Biden would highlight that the last election was certified after judges threw out multiple lawsuits.
“He’ll also decry efforts to strip the right to vote as authoritarian and anti-American and stand up against the notion that politicians should be allowed to choose their voters or to subvert our system by replacing independent election authorities with partisan ones,” Psaki claimed. “And he will highlight the work of the administration against this, the necessity of passing the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and how we need to work together with civil rights organizations to build as broad a turnout and voter education system to overcome the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War.”
A previous version of this article stated that Democratic lawmakers have previously left the state to stop a measure. It has been revised to note that they have previously left the state legislature to stop a measure.
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