More than two dozen Texas Democratic lawmakers are in Washington, D.C., seeking to push Congress to pass sweeping voting rights bills.
They left the state earlier this week in an effort to deny Republicans the required number of lawmakers present to conduct business and pass a controversial voting bill that they say would restrict voting rights.
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) claims the move is just a publicity stunt and that they are demonstrating “phony” outrage about the Republican voting bill.
“State legislators from Texas decided to grab some beer, hop on a private plane, and flee the state, in what they are pretending is some great moral crusade,” McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
He continued, “In reality, they’ve just come here to Washington to snap selfies, bask in the limelight, and beg Senate Democrats to take over Texas elections. Once again, this outrage is completely phony.”
Watch the video below:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says Texas Dems came to D.C. “to snap selfies … this outrage is completely phony.” pic.twitter.com/xicH8gvnJy
— The Recount (@therecount) July 14, 2021
Earlier this year, Texas Democrats blocked the passage of the controversial voting bill by staging a walkout.
However, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called a special session of the legislature to try to pass the bill again along with other priorities. This time, Texas House Democrats left the state to make sure there was not a quorum, the required number of lawmakers present to conduct business.
In a statement sign by caucus leaders, the lawmakers said, “Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.”
The state lawmakers are expected to meet with members of Congress to urge them to pass sweeping voting rights bills “to protect Texans — and all Americans — from the Trump Republicans’ nationwide war on democracy.”
Abbott vowed during an interview on Fox News that he would call “special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
He also said that the state lawmakers will be “arrested and brought back to the Texas Capitol” when they “step back into the state of Texas.”
The Texas House voted on Tuesday to “send for all absentees … under warrant of arrest if necessary.” However, The Texas Tribune notes that “the impact of the House move is unclear since Texas law enforcement lacks jurisdiction in the nation’s capital.”
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