Texas’ Abbott Says Dems Who ‘Fled’ State Over Elections Bill Vote Will Be Arrested Upon Return
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott slammed state Democrats recently for fleeing to Washington, D.C., on Monday in an effort to botch the passage of an election overhaul bill being pushed by state Republicans.
Abbott said Democrat lawmakers did so to deny the GOP the needed quorum to hold a final vote on the sweeping voting integrity bill meant to tighten voting laws in the state.
Appearing on “The Ingraham Angle,” Abbott defended the election overhaul bill as he remarked that Democrat lawmakers who went missing during the vote will be arrested upon their return to Texas.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 13, 2021
He noted that members of the Texas House of Representatives who are still in the state, can demand that their colleagues who failed to vote be arrested — with the caveat that the arrest must take place in the state.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” Abbott said.
Republicans and Democrats continue to be divided over the push for election overhaul measures across the country. The GOP argues that the proposals would raise election integrity and provide greater security during the election process, while Democrats say it would suppress voter turnout — and impact minorities due to additional checks needed to be able to vote.
Gov. Greg Abbott responds to TX Dems fleeing: “I can, and I will, continue to call special session after special session …"
"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.” pic.twitter.com/dwrun3SsWX
— The Recount (@therecount) July 13, 2021
This is not the first time Democratic lawmakers tried to kill the GOP-backed legislation by denying the state Legislature a quorum to vote on the measure.
Earlier in June, Democrats also walked out of the state House chamber to break the quorum on the voting overhaul.
That time, Abbott lashed at Democrats for their conduct and vowed to veto the state legislature’s budget — forcing members of Congress “who abandon their responsibilities” without pay.
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
State Democrat lawmakers arriving in Washington maintained that they would not be swayed by Abbott to vote on the controversial measures — also being pushed by other Republican-led states — noting that they are bent on ensuring that the measure never sees the light of day.
“We are determined to kill this bill,” state Democrat Rep. Chris Turner said, adding that he and his fellow Democrats were prepared to run out the clock on a special session that ends early next month.
But like their effort last month to evade the vote, there remains no clear path for Democrats to permanently block the voting process for the election overhaul bill or any other GOP-led proposals up for debate in the state’s legislature.
There are currently 83 Republican lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives, against 67 Democrats.
Gov. Abbott says 58 Texas Democrat runaways WILL be arrested when they return to Austin after jetting to DC on chartered private jets to illegally stop vote on new state voting bills https://t.co/OLvs3y5RaL
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 13, 2021
On “The Ingraham Angle” show, Abbott maintained that he will continue calling for special sessions — which the state governor can do so — until Democrats are forced to vote on the measure.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” Governor Abbott said. “And the governor calls them, and I will continue calling special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
On Tuesday, Texas House Republicans also voted to track down absent Democrats and arrest them if necessary upon return.
More than 50 House Democrats reportedly left for Washington, D.C., in protest of GOP priority election bills up for vote including House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1 — both will introduce a number of changes to Texas’ voting system.
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