Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is not taking the impudence of Democrats in his state House sitting down.
Abbott vetoed funding for the state legislature after state House Democrats walked out of the chamber on Sunday night to deny the chamber a quorum, making it impossible for the legislature to vote on a voting reform bill with which they disagreed.
The legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of members to be able to take a vote, and without the Democrats, they didn’t have enough members present. Abbott was expecting to sign the legislation once it was passed by the Republican majority.
At first, Abbott added the bill, which limits absentee voting, drive-thru voting, 24-hour voting and early voting, to the special session of the legislature, telling members to get their differences ironed out before then.
“I expect legislators to have worked out their differences prior to arriving back at the Capitol so that they can hit the ground running to pass legislation related to these emergency items and other priority legislation. During the special session, we will continue to advance policies that put the people of Texas first,” Abbott wrote.
But Abbott later decided to veto the legislature’s spending as a consequence of the Democrats’ actions. “No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” he tweeted on Monday.
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Democrats oppose voting limits bill
Democrats said that the voting reform bill takes away rights from minorities and harms voting rights of those groups.
Besides the limits on voting other than in-person on Election Day, the law also allows election results to be overturned if “the number of votes illegally cast in the election is equal to or greater than the number of votes necessary to change the outcome of an election.”
Former President Donald Trump won the state of Texas in the 2020 presidential election, but many Republicans fear that without state voting reforms, they could lose more ground and eventually not be able to win elections because of unfair voting practices that encourage cheating.
Ballot harvesting, for example, allows people to give their ballots to a third party, who then turns them in. The practice is used fraudulently in nursing homes and care homes for the developmentally disabled, where ballots are filled out for elderly and disabled voters who may not understand what is being done or how their vote is being cast.
In addition to Texas’s attempt, Georgia and Arizona have both passed voting reforms that they say close loopholes that could be used to encourage cheating.