More than 50 House Democrats left the state today (Monday) for Washington, D.C., with the intent to break quorum to prevent passage of Republican-backed election legislation. Unlike their quorum break near the end of the regular session, this action may compel them to remain out of state for multiple months. Today is the 5th of a possible 30 days in the first of potentially multiple special sessions.
“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ right to vote,” said House Democratic leaders in a statement. “We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol.”
Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) said in a statement that he would use “every available resource” under the House rules and state constitution to continue the chamber’s work. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) tweeted the Senate would vote on Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) tomorrow (Tuesday).
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) condemned the quorum break. “Texas Democrats’ decision to break a quorum of the Texas Legislature and abandon the Texas State Capitol inflicts harm on the very Texans elected to serve them,” Abbott said in a statement. “As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state.”
Despite messages of support from other states’ Democratic caucuses and pledges of financial support, the Democrats’ endgame is unclear.
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