Texas has issued an ultimatum to Democrats who absconded to Washington D.C. in a highly publicized attempt to stop an election integrity bill from passing.
Texas Speaker charters plane in Washington for absconding Democrats
Speaker Dade Phelan (R) said that in order to “compel” the Texas Democrats to return, he would charter a plane that will be “on standby in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.”
“I am demanding all of our colleagues in D.C. to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state’s business,” he said. “The State of Texas is waiting.”
Phelan also stripped El Paso Democrat Joe Moody of his leadership post. In response, the Democrats told Phelan they “won’t be needing a plane anytime soon, as our work to save democracy from the Trump Republicans is just getting started.”
They called on Phelan to call off a special session that Governor Greg Abbott (R) ordered to pass an election bill and other unfinished business. The Texas Democrats sought to block the bill, which would have strengthened voter ID requirements and made other reforms, by leaving Texas on Monday to deny a quorum.
Abbott has threatened to have them arrested upon their return.
Now what? Texas Dems loiter in Washington
While their partisan grandstanding has invited mockery, they have been showered with praise for their subversive action by liberals impatient with President Joe Biden’s lack of progress in passing “voting rights” reform.
Awkwardly, after all of the fanfare and publicity of their escapade, the Texas Democrats have been loitering aimlessly in Washington since their arrival as Democrats in Congress focus on passing Biden’s infrastructure agenda.
“Things have to happen at the pace they happen,” said state Senator Nathan Johnson (D).
The group says they will remain in Washington to lobby for federal legislation until the special legislative session in Texas is over — though Gov. Abbott has vowed to call more special sessions if necessary.
Scenes of unrest spread to Washington D.C. proper on Thursday as protesters stormed the Hart Senate Office building demanding an end to the filibuster, which is holding back Democrats from forcing their agenda on the country unilaterally.