For the second time in a matter of weeks, Texas House Democrats walk out in protest of a GOP election integrity bill, but this time on chartered flights to the nation's capital.
“They're unhappy of course with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on elections laws showing that the intent is really up to the states, and they're just there to appeal to D.C. hoping D.C. will save them. We need the Senate to continue to stop this nonsense,” says state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park.
“They're not killing election integrity legislation in Texas, they're just delaying it,” he added. “We could 'call the House,' meaning we'd have to go round them up and arrest them. However, they picked Washington D.C. and I'm not sure D.C. will comply. Eventually they'll have to come home. We'll get them and drag them in and get legislation passed in Texas.
The move comes just days after a group of Texas Democrats met with Vice President Kamala Harris, who praised their walkout at the end of the regular session.
“There's clearly tremendous interest from the Biden White House on down to the Democratic National Committee and everyone else to support the Democrats in Texas and this breaking quorum move,” says state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston.
“You don't rent private jets overnight. You have to have a plan to do this and clearly this was discussed when they were in D.C. a couple weeks ago in my opinion,” he says. “There is substantial national leftist progressive money supporting this, so this will last several weeks at a minimum.”
Republicans argue the walkout means nothing, because they still hold the majority and Gov. Abbott can still call as many special sessions as needed to get the bill passed.
“They don't have a whole lot of leverage here and at some point the people of Texas will get tired of these political games and this, frankly, childish behavior of having a temper tantrum right in front of Texans and the American people,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Brian Phillips told Jimmy Barrett on KPRC 950.
“Almost immediately after they left, hadn't even boarded the plane to D.C. and you had multiple members tweeting out donation links for their various campaigns,” he added. “At the end of the day this is sort of looking like a political stunt to raise money.”