Enough Texas House Democrats remain in D.C. to stall Republican-backed voting bill

Texas Politics
Senfronia Thompson

FILE – In this July 13, 2021, file photo Texas State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, dean of the Texas House of Representatives, speaks as Democratic members of the Texas legislature hold a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. Texas Democrats are starting a second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. More than 50 Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives had plans Monday to continue on a media blitz in the nation’s capital and pressure Congress to act on federal voting rights. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Enough Texas House Democrats are still in Washington, D.C. to break quorum in the Texas House, stalling any legislation from moving forward this special session.

They’re specifically fighting the Republican-backed elections bill, which the GOP calls election integrity, but Democrats call voter suppression.

Democrats are hoping to spark enough support for federal legislation, the For the People Act, that would essentially override anything passed at the state level.

On Thursday, former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke campaigned for those representatives.

“I’m confident that what Chairman Turner and Chairman Collier and Representative Wally and their 53 other colleagues who are in Washington, D.C. right now, what they’re doing will prove the difference in this fight. And so I’m just urging them to keep it up,” O’Rourke said.

But Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn called the trip a waste of time.

“We just had 11.3 million people vote in the 2020 election of 66% of all registered voters, including the highest numbers of Hispanic and African American voters in Texas history. So this is really in pursuit of partisan power, and not really in pursuit of to remedy any other suppression of minority votes,” Sen. Cornyn said Thursday.

He also called it a public relations disaster, due to fully-vaccinated members testing positive this week.

“Not only have six of them gotten COVID-19, they spread it to people at the White House and in the Speaker’s staff,” Cornyn said.

But State Rep. Nicole Collier called those members brave, and the members are quarantining in their hotel rooms for now.

“Our members have had COVID. They are still here. They are still standing. And we will continue to do that until we see the protection of the right to vote in America,” Rep. Collier said.

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