• Sunday, Dec 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Texas Democrats flee state to thwart Republican voting curbs

  • Published at 05:57 am July 13th, 2021
Texas MPs
State Rep Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, speaks to the press after Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives arrive at Dulles airport in Sterling, Virginia, Monday night Reuters

The exodus is intended to deny the legislature the quorum needed to approve any of the measures on Republican Governor Greg Abbott's special-session agenda

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers left Texas on Monday as part of an orchestrated move to derail their Republican colleagues' efforts to pass new voting restrictions and other conservative measures during a special legislative session.

Calling from an airplane headed to Washington, DC, on Monday afternoon, Texas state Representative Alex Dominguez told Reuters that "nearly everyone" in the House of Representatives' 67-member Democratic caucus had fled the state.

The exodus is intended to deny the legislature the quorum needed to approve any of the measures on Republican Governor Greg Abbott's special-session agenda, including bills restricting abortion access and blocking transgender students from competing in athletics that correspond with their gender identity.

"If they keep wanting to throw oppressive bills, then we'll keep fighting them, in whatever way we have to," Dominguez said.

"We are determined to kill this bill in this special session, which will end on August 7, and we will stay out until then in order to do that," Representative Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told a news conference on Monday night at Washington's Dulles International Airport, flanked by dozens of his colleagues.

Democratic lawmakers staged a similar walkout on May 30 to boycott a vote on an earlier version of the voting legislation just before the legislature's regular session ended, prompting Abbott to call the special session.

Texas Republicans including the governor and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan condemned the strategy.

"The Democrats must put aside partisan political games and get back to the job they were elected to do," Abbott said.

Texas is one of a number of Republican-led states pushing new voting restrictions in the name of enhancing election security, citing former President Donald Trump's false claims that his November election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

On Sunday, House and Senate committees in the Texas legislature passed new versions of the voting measures, which would prohibit drive-through and 24-hour voting locations, add new identification requirements to mail-in voting and empower partisan poll watchers.

Votes in the full chambers were expected this week. Instead, Democrats bolted.

President Joe Biden's administration has pledged to continue pushing Congress to pass legislation that protects the right to vote. But Senate Republicans have not backed the measure, likely dooming it.

Biden will discuss steps the administration plans to take to shore up voting rights in a speech on Tuesday, the White House said.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail