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Local Lawmakers react after House Democrats flee to DC instead of attending Special Sessions

Texas State Capitol
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 20:45:58-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — The special session is in limbo tonight.

The state senate is business as usual, while Republican lawmakers in the house have voted to arrest their Democratic counterparts who took off to DC.

Texas Democrats in the house are so determined to stop a voting bill, which they say suppresses voter rights, that they went straight to the nation's capital to fight it.

Republicans meanwhile say Democrats are turning their back on Texans.

Tuesday was meant to be a day filled with House of Representatives voting on a variety of bills in Austin, but that plan was derailed when more than 50 of the Democrat representatives were missing.

"It was pretty disappointing that our colleagues would walk out on the citizens of Texas and not allow us to conduct our business," Rep. Ben Leman, Texas (R-13) said.

The Democratic representatives left for Washington D.C. Monday after opposing legislation that would ban drive-thru and 24 hour voting options and further restrict voting-by-mail.

"The bill as written makes it harder for Texans to vote, and easier for partisan to harass and intimidate voters," Rep. Tony Rose, Texas (D-110) said.

The Texas Democrats are also demanding federal legislation to prevent bills like this from moving forward.

"We are always going to push back, against the sort of bigoted, racist, Jim Crow 2.0 style voting laws whenever you decide to bring them up," Rep. Marc Veasey, Texas (D-33) said.

In a 76 to four vote, representatives back in Austin voted to authorize the arrests of the democrats who took off for DC.

Leman said opposing the bill did not warrant Democrats neglecting other bills on the table.

"Let's make sure we put our heads together and solve the problem for the citizens of Texas and you don't do that by walking out on your duty," Leman said.

This special session is slated to go on until August 7th, but Governor Abbott says he will continue to call a Special Session until the job is done.