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Texas House Votes To Track Down Dem Lawmakers Who Fled the State To Block Voting Measure

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The Texas House of Representatives has voted to send law enforcement to track down Democratic legislators who fled the state in a bid to block Republicans from passing a controversial voting bill.

On Tuesday, lawmakers voted 76-4 to issue a “call of the House” that directs the “sergeant at arms, or officers appointed by him, send for all absentees … under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

As The Texas Tribune notes, “The impact of the House move is unclear since Texas law enforcement lacks jurisdiction in the nation’s capital.”

The move comes after 50 House Democrats traveled to Washington, D.C., to ensure that there was not the required number of legislators present to conduct business in the state Capitol.

Democrats’ decision to flee the state comes as Republican lawmakers were planning to advance a controversial voting measure and other priorities.

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In a statement on Monday, state Democrats said they were leaving Texas to prevent Republicans from passing “dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called a special session of the legislature to try to pass the legislation after Democrats blocked its passage earlier this year when they staged a walkout.

During an interview on Fox News on Monday, Abbott vowed to hold “special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”

He also said the Democrats who left the state would be arrested upon their return, “Once they step back into the state of Texas they will be arrested and brought back to the Texas Capitol and we will be conducting business.”

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