Texas lawmakers prepare for Biden inauguration amid security, COVID-19 risks

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Outside Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s office window on Monday, dozens of National Guard troops marched down streets toward the U.S. Capitol in preparation for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“It’s a little of the feel, I suppose, that one might have if you were in the Green Zone in Bagdad,” Doggett, an Austin Democrat, told KXAN.

Due to security and COVID-19 risks, the inauguration crowd on Wednesday will be limited to members of Congress and a few others.

“I got a COVID test last night. When I land there tonight, I have to get another COVID test at the Pentagon,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo.

Sen. Ted Cruz will be there, too, despite offering to argue Texas’ failed lawsuit to overturn election results in four battleground states and objecting to the count of Electoral College votes the preceded riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Video captured by a reporter for “The New Yorker” shows one rioter using Cruz as justification.
“Cruz would want us to do this,” the man said.

While some have called for Cruz to resign or be removed from the Senate, Brian Smith, a political science professor at St. Andrew’s University, believes both are unlikely to happen.

“What does (Cruz) have at stake? Frontrunner status in 2024 — definitely out,” Smith said. “For Cruz to resign, what has to happen is those voices have to come from Republicans here in Texas.”

Texas Democrats meanwhile are hoping Biden can set a new tone for America with his speech on Wednesday.

“It’s got to be uplifting. It’s got to provide optimism,” Cuellar said. “It’s got to provide the map for how we fight COVID-19; how we reopen our economic; and, of course, how do we unite our country together?”

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