Texas Democrats Consider Another Election Reform Walkout: ‘Everything is on the Table’

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Texas Democrats may consider another walkout in the state’s special legislative session this month after the walkout by outnumbered lawmakers in May derailed the Republicans’ controversial midnight vote bill in the United States. legislature led by the GOP.

The electoral reform bill is expected to be introduced in the special session, according to the Texas Tribune.

The previous walkout had caught the attention of the White House, with Vice President Kamala Harris meeting with several Texas state lawmakers in Washington in June.

This week, lawmakers explained why they might use the tactic again.

“From a caucus point of view, as we move into the unknown, we must keep all options open, including denying a quorum,” Dallas Democratic Representative Jessica González, vice president of Dallas, told The Tribune. the House Elections Committee. “I think a lot of people want to see what would be in [the elections bill] before making a decision.”

The Democrat-blocked bill would have imposed a series of electoral changes that would eliminate drive-thru voting, empower pro-poll watchers, and impose new requirements to vote by mail in Texas, which already has some of the most popular election laws. strict rules of the country. the nation.

TEXAS HOUSE DEMOCRATS BLOCKS VOTING PROJECT IN DRAMATIC WALKOUT

Republicans were unable to vote on the bill because absent Democrats denied them the necessary quorum to vote.

The bill has the support of Republicans across the state who see it as a sensible approach to ensuring the integrity of elections. Democrats see the bill as an attempt to discourage minorities from voting.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas.  (Associated press)
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (Associated press)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called the bill “a must-see emergency item.”

“Everything is on the table,” said Democratic Representative Nicole Collier of Fort Worth. “We are not going to remove any options at this point,” but she added that there was no consensus on what to do next.

In addition to waiting for what the Election Bill will look like, Democrats will also need to assess what’s on the session’s agenda and how it will be structured, according to the Tribune.

Some Democrats did not participate in the walkout, but most supported their colleagues who did. Eagle Pass Democratic Rep. Eddie Morales told The Tribune from his point of view that he thinks it is best to argue against the merits of the bill in the room.

Weeks after the walkout, Abbott implemented a veto threat on legislature funding, slashing salaries for lawmakers and staff.

“Texans don’t shy away from a legislative fight, and they don’t shy away from unfinished business,” Abbott said of his veto. “Funding should not be given to those who left their jobs prematurely, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session. Therefore, I oppose and disapprove of these credits. “

Democrats accused Abbott of acting like a “dictator”.

Harris invited several of Texas Democrats to the White House to discuss voting rights last month after the walkout.

“We will do everything in our power as an administration to make the voices of those who seek to preserve the right to vote of the people heard,” Harris said at the June 16 meeting, according to KTVT-TV. Dallas. “It’s not a Democratic or Republican problem, it’s an American problem.”

Vice President Kamala Harris greets members of the Texas State Senate and House of Representatives, who in May blocked legislation that would have made voting much more difficult for the people of Texas, at the White House in Washington, US, June 16, 2021 (Reuters)

Vice President Kamala Harris greets members of the Texas State Senate and House of Representatives, who in May blocked legislation that would have made voting much more difficult for the people of Texas, at the White House in Washington, US, June 16, 2021 (Reuters)

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Lawmakers ‘salaries are constitutionally guaranteed, but employee salaries are not, meaning Democrats who do not participate in the special session could risk their employees’ salaries, according to The Tribune.

The extraordinary session will begin next Thursday.

Edmund DeMarche of Fox News contributed to this report.

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