The American Federation of Teachers headquarters was the site of a meeting between Vice President Kamala Harris and the Texas Democrat legislators who abandoned their responsibilities and fled to Washington, DC, to avoid having to address proposed election integrity laws in the state.
The American Federation of Teachers has opposed election integrity laws. The teachers union, resolved to support "actions that help ensure that voting is 'free, fair and accessible for all Americans,' that the voting processes in America which are flawed are corrected," and that demanded that "Congress adopt a Voting Rights Act which fundamentally restores the powers of the federal government declared invalid in Section 4b by the US Supreme Court in 2013."
Lawmakers left the state by private plane on Monday and went to Washington to bring their concerns to the White House and to encourage the Biden administration and congress to pass the For the People Act, a broad, far-reaching voting bill that would impact states' rights to determine their own election procedures.
Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden backed the lawmakers and their efforts to undermine the legislative process in Texas with their absence, which denies the quorum necessary to enact laws in the Texas House.
The Dallas Morning News reports that "Vice President Kamala Harris cleared her calendar and huddled with them Tuesday afternoon at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters near the Capitol."
"I know what you have done comes with great sacrifice, both personal and political," Harris told them. "You are fighters."
Harris "hosted a closed meeting with the Democratic lawmakers at the American Federation of Teachers near the Capitol building," USA Today reports. "As she walked into the room of more than 60 people, she received a round of applause and standing ovation."
"Defending the right to vote is as American as apple pie," Harris told the Texas Democrats.
Biden spoke at length on Tuesday about voting rights, alleging that states that have passed or are considering election integrity laws are doing so because they are implementing racism and discrimination. He told the American public that Republicans who are backing these laws don't want them to vote.
"The 21st century Jim Crow assault is real. It's unrelenting. We're going to challenge it vigorously," Biden said. "While this broad assault against voting rights is not unprecedented, it's taking on a new and literally pernicious form. It's no longer just about who gets to vote, or making it easier for people to vote, or making it easier for eligible voters to vote, it's about who gets to count the vote. Who gets to count whether or not your vote counted at all."