Texas Democrats left the capital city of Austin in hopes of preventing a vote on an elections bill. Party officials tweeted the lawmakers were risking arrest by leaving the state to keep the Texas House from having a quorum.
House Democrats say they'll visit with federal lawmakers in Washington, DC this week in hopes of getting the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights acts passed. They also accused the Texas GOP of trying to pass "dangerous legislation" making it hard for people to vote.
Republicans, including Governor Greg Abbott, say the bills which include restrictions on mail-in ballots and bans on drive-through voting, are needed to prevent fraud.
It's not the first time Texas Democrats have fled the state in protest of a bill. A group of lawmakers left Austin for Oklahoma and New Mexico in 2003 due to complaints about redistricting. The redistricting bill eventually passed.
House Speaker Dade Phelan says House Democrats are putting state funding at risk by going to Washington, DC. He's promising to use House Rules to secure a quorum.
Abbott says the Democrats are harming Texans who want to see property tax relief, retired teaching funding, foster care funding, and law enforcement support. Phelan and Abbott also criticized Democrats for using private jets to leave Austin.
Democrats plan to talk with federal lawmakers on getting the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights acts passed.