AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott criticized state Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., on Monday in an effort to deprive the Legislature of a quorum, thus the ability to vote on the GOP’s sweeping elections overhaul bill, Fox News reported.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he said.
The exodus was the second time that Democratic lawmakers have staged a walkout on the voting overhaul.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” 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.”
As they arrived in Washington Monday evening, the lawmakers said they would not be swayed.
However, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) called the Dems move a political stunt, during an interview with Fox. He says the Texas Constitution gives the speaker the authority to arrest fleeing House members.
“I think it’s going to end with the Texas legislature taking up and passing election integrity legislation. What you’re seeing the Democrats do here is a political stunt. And I will say it’s ironic as they were getting on their private jet to fly to Washington, D.C., they almost surely had to show identification to get on that jet. And yet they’re doing this in a fit because they don’t want mail-in ballots to be verified. They don’t want the signatures to be verified. They don’t want basic integrity steps to be strengthened in the state of Texas. This is at the end of the day, politics. And they need to get back to doing their jobs. And one way or the other, they will.
“Under the Texas Constitution, there’s a provision that explicitly gives the speaker the authority to arrest fleeing House members. That provision is copied word for word from the U.S. Constitution. And so this stunt is going to fail. They’re going to come back. There’s going to be a quorum. And I believe the legislature is going to do its job and protect the integrity of elections. Ensure people can vote, but also ensure that we don’t have fraud, that we don’t have people casting illegal votes.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Texas House Republicans on Tuesday voted to send law enforcement to hunt down the nearly 60 Democratic legislators who fled the state to stonewall GOP-backed voting bills.
At around 10 a.m., Republicans discovered they lacked a two-thirds quorum when they tried to bring one of the bills to a vote with only 80 of the normal 150-member government body. They voted to send police to track down the missing legislators “under warrant of arrest if necessary.” Two motions to initiate the move passed by an overwhelming 76-4 margin.
As you might imagine, all no-votes were Democrats.