Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said on Fox News Monday night that Democrat senators who fled the state on Monday for the second time to avoid a vote on an election integrity bill “will be arrested” when they return to the state and “brought back to the capital” to vote.
The Democrat lawmakers flew to Washington, D.C. together on a chartered private plane to deny the state legislature a quorum and stop the vote on the controversial voting law, which has enough Republican votes to pass when a vote can be held.
The legislature is in a special session called by Abbott in order to have this vote and several others that didn’t happen during the regular session.
Members of the legislature who stayed in session can call for the Democrats to be arrested, Abbott said, but the arrests must take place inside the state.
“We will be conducting business”
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he said to host Laura Ingraham.
But the Democrats claim that they will stay in D.C. until the clock runs out on the special session. “We are determined to kill this bill,” state Rep. Chris Turner said.
In response, Abbott said he would continue to call special sessions until the Democrats showed up and the necessary votes could be held.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” Abbott said. “And the governor calls them, and I will continue calling special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
Delaying tactic backfires
There is no way for Democrats to block the bill or others in the pipeline long term; the exodus from the state is only a delaying tactic.
One Democrat state senator, James Tallarico, was skewered on social media after posting about the Democrats’ “sacrifice” in leaving town. ”
We left behind our families, our livelihoods, & our beloved Texas,” he tweeted. “But our sacrifice is nothing compared to the sacrifices brave Americans have made throughout history to protect the sacred right to vote.”
Tallarico did not get much sympathy online, as many mocked him and his colleagues for their actions. “Thoughts and prayers during these awful times,” one user quipped. “Surely it’s just like Normandy.”