A group of Texas Democrats made headlines this month when they fled the state in an attempt to block a voter reform bill from advancing through the state legislature.
The lawmakers flew to D.C., where they are pleading their case for the Biden administration — but Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has promised that they will face the consequences when they set foot back in Texas.
“Until they get their job done”
“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 on Monday.
During a subsequent interview with KVUE, the governor added: “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.”
According to the Associated Press, Abbott’s remarks drew a swift rebuke from the Democrats hiding out in the nation’s capital.
For her part, state Rep. Martinez Fischer told reporters that the governor had been treating him and his colleagues like an “animal or property, to say he will corral us and he will cabin us in the Capitol to get this agenda.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reported that Vice President Kamala Harris praised the Democrats and even compared them to the nation’s civil rights icons.
“At great sacrifice”
“They took bold, courageous action in line with the legacy of Frederick Douglass, to the legacy that involves women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and all those folks who shed blood on the bridge in 1965 to pass the Voting Rights Act,” Harris said.
She went on to tout the supposed sacrifice of the absentee lawmakers, claiming that they “traveled to Washington, D.C., at great sacrifice to stand up for the American right to vote unencumbered.”
Of course, her characterization was widely mocked by critics including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“Last I checked, the heroic civil rights protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge were not in a private chartered jet,” he said. “They didn’t have a case of Miller Lite next to them.”
As for the bill that convinced Democrats to abandon their duties and face arrest upon returning to their home state, the Texas proposal seeks to end drive-thru voting, mandate video surveillance at polling stations, and require tracking devices to be installed on electronic ballot-counting machines.