Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Texas Governor Threatens to Arrest Democrats Who Fled to Washington, D C” – below is their description.
Democrats in the Texas Legislature bolted Monday for Washington, and said they were ready to remain there for weeks in a second revolt against a GOP overhaul of election laws, forcing a dramatic new showdown over voting rights in America.
Private planes carrying more than 50 Democrats left Austin for Dulles International Airport midafternoon, skipping town just days before the Texas House of Representatives was expected to give early approval to sweeping new voting restrictions in a special legislative session. The numbers meant the House would not have enough lawmakers in attendance to conduct business and could not, at least for now, vote on the bill.
The cross-country exodus was the second time that Democratic lawmakers have staged a walkout on the voting overhaul, a measure of their fierce opposition to proposals they say will make it harder for young people, people of color and people with disabilities to vote. But like last month’s effort, there remains no clear path for Democrats to permanently block the voting measures, or a list of other contentious GOP-backed proposals up for debate.
Hours after they took off, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told an Austin television station he would simply keep calling special sessions through next year if necessary, and raised the possibility of Democrats facing arrest upon returning home.
“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,” Abbott said.
As they arrived in Washington Monday evening, the lawmakers said they would not be swayed.
“We are determined to kill this bill,” said state Rep. Chris Turner, who said he and his colleagues were prepared to run out the clock on a special session that ends early next month.
The Texas bills would outlaw 24-hour polling places, ban ballot drop boxes used to deposit mail ballots and empower partisan poll watchers.
The measures are part of the GOP’s rush to enact new voting restrictions in response to former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
In an interview with Austin television station KVUE, Abbott said he was prepared to keep calling special sessions though next year’s election.
“If these people want to be hanging out, wherever they’re hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they’re going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year, he said.
Abbott also said that changes were made to the current form of the legislation, including allowing “Souls to the Polls,” which involves voting hours on Sundays and is known to be popular with Black voters, to continue. He said the legislation actually calls for more hours of early voting. And he said the focus on election security comes from concerns of voter fraud that were raised in an opinion from a federal judge appointed by former President Barack Obama.Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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