Democrat lawmakers who fled Texas rather than vote on new voter integrity laws may be arrested upon their return to the Lone Star State. The Dems left town on Monday rather than take up the legislation. Abbott to Fox News' Laura Ingraham about the issues surrounding the Democrat's departure from the state.
"Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business," the governor promised.
"Democrats in your state literally ran away from the democracy that they swore to uphold and protect," Ingraham opened with Gov. Abbott.
"Isn't that the most un-Texas thing you've ever heard?" Replied Abbott, "Texans running away from a fight? They're quitters."
"They're leaving and abandoning their right to vote. I tell you what, it's crazy," he said, "But it's not over." Abbott described the process of special sessions in Texas, which can only be called by the governor. Each session lasts 30 days. He said he would keep calling special sessions until the Democrats show up and do their jobs.
"But," he said, "the thesis they are operating under is completely false because what the Texas law does, doesn't hinder anybody's ability to vote. In fact, interestingly, what Texas is seeking to do is to add additional hours to vote." Abbott said early voting hours would be expanded under the new law.
"Compare early voting in Texas," Abbott said, "with early voting that we have in Delaware. Texas has 12 days of early voting, Delaware has zero days of early voting," he said, comparing Texas to President Biden's home state, "where the president himself voted in the last election." Biden has been a vocal opponent of all voting integrity laws across the country, calling them the new Jim Crow laws.
State lawmaker Jasmine Crockett is using her trip to Washington, DC, to ask the president to remove the filibuster from the federal legislative process, claiming that it's allowing Republicans to be "obstructionist." Ingraham pointed out that Crockett herself is guilty of being obstructionist, since she is literally obstructing the lawmaking process in her state by refusing, with her colleagues, to engage in it.
Abbott called this "hypocrisy," and pointed out that voter integrity laws are only one thing that the lawmakers have on their plates. "They are preventing us from passing laws that will make our communities better," he said, bringing up a host of other measures that are important to Texans.
Ingraham also wanted to know who paid for the Democrats private bus and charter plane to get to DC. "This is not cheap," Abbott said, noting that the state of Texas was still paying lawmakers their salary to not do their jobs. "They're still living off the government dime," he said, while they are doing "fundraising projects."
"They are so afraid, they're running away from a fight they were hired by the voters to do," Abbott said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been trying to get legislation passed on voter integrity in the state for over a month. The bill was finally up for a vote in a special session, convened by the governor after the legislature closed for summer, but state Democrats fled the state in order to avoid having to do their jobs.
Some of the changes in the voting integrity law include the reversal of measures that allowed for 24-hour polling places, as well as drive-thru voting options. Republicans wanted to remove these measures, that were in place specifically to help people vote during the pandemic.
58 or more Texas State House Democrats left the state on Monday in an effort to block a GOP-backed election integrity bill from passing. This unusual but not unprecedented move—something similar was attempted in 2003—makes the Texas House not able to operate until the lawmakers return or until the end of the current legislative session.
The Democrats walked out of a legislative session on May 31, but now they've left the state entirely. After the May walkout, Abbott defunded the state legislature. In response to that, the Democrats took Abbott to court.
Flying out on a chartered plane, the Democrats who should have been at work instead headed for Washington, DC.
Lawmakers posted selfies of themselves fleeing their jobs.
They were very proud of themselves for having abandoned their posts.