Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says President Biden "applauds the courage" of the Texas Democrats who fled the state in protest over their Republican counterparts' election integrity bill. Most of the lawmakers on the lamb took private jets to Washington, D.C. to host a press conference to condemn the Republican bill.
Jean-Pierre called the bill, "a concerted attack on our democracy being advanced in state houses across the country," and that bills like the Texas bill are apart of the "repeatedly disproven lies" that "lead to the assault on our nation's capitol on January 6th."
The Democrats fled to Washington, DC, rather than sit in a special legislative session to vote on voter integrity laws that are supported by the Republicans in the state legislature as well as Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Governor Abbott has said that the Democrats would be arrested when they return to the state. "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. Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility." Texas GOP lawmakers have backed Abbott on that threat of arrest, voting 76-4 to detain or arrest fleeing Democrats upon their return to the Lone Star State.
The Democrats are intent on preventing the passage of House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1 which expand early voting and remove some of the allowances made to voting laws during the pandemic. The legislation would also create new criminal penalties for certain types of election fraud. The Democrats' departure means that the legislature is unable to conduct business, because they don't have a quorum.
Under the Texas constitution, the legislature requires for a quorum of two-thirds of legislators present in order to conduct any state business. Private jets were chartered by the Democrats, who flew from Austin, Texas, to Washington, DC. In addition to avoiding their responsibilities, the Democrats have promised to interfere in federal election laws, encouraging congress and the President to pass the For the People Act, which is an overreaching bill designed to force states to align their voting laws with the aims of Democrat lawmakers on the federal level.
The Texas Democrats are also interested in encouraging federal lawmakers to do away with the congressional filibuster.
Abbott defunded the state legislature in response to their earlier, May 31 walk-out. He then called a special session of the Texas government starting on July 8 in an effort to deal with the business the Democrats would not tackle during the regular session.. The actions could conceivably force the fleeing Democrats to stay out of the state for 30 days as of that date.