By: Konrad Holden
On Monday, 58 Democratic Texas House members skipped town to Washington D.C. on private jets to block a voting reform bill. In response, the remaining House members voted to send law enforcement to bring the rogue legislators back to the statehouse—the vote authorized law enforcement to arrest the House members if necessary. The rogue Democrats have said they are planning to stay in D.C. through the end of the special session if necessary.
The new voting reform passing through the Texas legislature will bring more security to the state’s future elections. The new measures include prohibiting 24-hour polling places, banning ballot drop boxes, and giving poll watchers more rights.
Texas Democrats have demonized these measures as “voter suppression tactics.”
With 58 Democrats hiding in D.C., the House doesn’t have the two-thirds quorum needed to hold a vote on the bill which would certainly be signed into law by Governor Abbott.
In response to the Democrats’ actions, House Republicans were left wondering what to do. Though they decided to authorize law enforcement to track the group down, many other options have been put forward.
One option being discussed is that the 58 Democrats should lose any committee seats they hold. This would unfortunately be against current chamber rules.
At this point, the Texas House has enacted a “call of the House” which requires the chamber doors to be locked and legislators must get a permission slip to leave the building.
“Isn’t this the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard — Texans running from a fight? They’re quitters.” - Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX)