Democrat lawmakers in Texas will walk out in a bid to deny Republicans the quorum they need to convene a special legislative session called by the governor as GOP lawmakers seek to pass an election overhaul bill.
Several news outlets on Monday cited anonymous sources for the planned walkout, but it was confirmed by Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa on Monday in a statement.
“Today, by breaking quorum to block [Gov. Greg] Abbott’s attacks on voters, Texas Democrats are making history,” Hinojosa said in the statement. “After Abbott dragged lawmakers back to the Capitol for his suppression session, Democrats are fighting back with everything we’ve got.”
Several Democrat lawmakers in the House confirmed the walkout and “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’ freedom to vote,” reads a joint statement from Democrat Texas Reps. Chris Turner, Rafael Anchia, Nicole Collier, Garnet Coleman, and Dean Senfronia Thompson.
Democrats on May 30 employed a similar tactic and staged a walkout of the state Capitol, denying Republicans the ability to pass two election bills. Abbott, a Republican, then announced he would convene a special legislative session to pass the voting measure as well as measures targeting bail and critical race theory.
In a strongly-worded statement on Monday, Abbott said Democrats’ decision “inflicts harm on the very Texans who elected them to serve” and said the lawmakers are leaving “undone issues that can help their districts and our state” as they “fly across the country on cushy private planes.”
The governor was apparently responding to anonymously sourced reports some state Democrats would be flying to Washington D.C. on chartered flights.