A number of Texas Democrats who fled the state rather than vote on an election integrity bill have tested positive for COVID-19, the Austin Statesman reported on Saturday.
“Three Texas House Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 from Washington, D.C., according to Texas House Democratic Caucus leadership,” the Statesman reported.
“They’re among nearly 60 lawmakers who fled the state Monday to break quorum in the House, part of an effort to block the passage of a GOP-led elections bill. Most members are staying in the same hotel,” the report noted.
“One member found out about their positive test result late Friday evening, but they do not have symptoms, caucus officials said,” the Statesman continued. “All House lawmakers were alerted and received a rapid test immediately following the member’s positive result.”
“Two additional members tested positive in a rapid test on Saturday morning and one has mild symptoms,” the causus said, according to the report. “The three who have tested positive on the rapid tests will receive a PCR coronavirus test, a more sensitive and accurate version of a COVID-19 test. The positive members will isolate for 10 days.”
An update from Timothy Swain confirms that all of the members are “fully vaccinated.” The caucus did not release the names of the members.
🚨UPDATE: All 3 members are fully vaccinated. The names of the 3 members have not been released.
This is just amazing. Rules for thee but not for me. Karma. Texas Republicans are going to win big in 2022!
Follow me to keep updated!
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) July 17, 2021
The Texas Democrats made a highly public display of exiting from the State of Texas on chartered buses and planes to avoid a quorum for voting on the election reforms. None of them were wearing masks, although presumably many of them were vaccinated.
At least 58 Democratic state representatives traveled maskless on their own private planes at an expense of $100,000, while American taxpayers are forced by the TSA to travel on airlines with masks on even if vaccinated.
The Texas Dems pulled a ‘flee-a-buster’ to go to Washington’s Dulles International Airport on Monday afternoon to petition the Democratic Party leaders in the Senate to kill the filibuster.
The state legislators were not only on the public dime as they took their beer-fueled road trip, they made sure to pose for ‘selfies.’ The private plane travel also undoubtedly left quite the ‘carbon footprint.’
“Texas State House Democrats have arrived at Dulles Airport and are recording selfie videos of themselves for their social media networks,” New York Times reporter Reid Epstein noted.
Texas Democrats refuse to show up for work like they were elected to do and quit on Texas ……..but they didn’t forget to campaign fundraise with Beto’s help and bring the Miller Lite on the private jet owned by a Lebanese businessman they have taking them to Washington DC pic.twitter.com/YrdHy3wU9e
— MayesMiddleton (@mayes_middleton) July 12, 2021
“Texas Democrats refuse to show up for work like they were elected to do and quit on Texas ……..but they didn’t forget to campaign fundraise with Beto’s help and bring the Miller Lite on the private jet owned by a Lebanese businessman they have taking them to Washington DC,” Texas House Rep. Mayes Middleton pointed out.
Texas Democrat James Talarico explained why he and his fellow Democrats were absconding from their offices to again deny quorum in the votes on the legislature’s bills.
My Democratic colleagues and I are leaving the state to break quorum and kill the Texas voter suppression bill.
We’re flying to DC to demand Congress pass the For The People Act and save our democracy.
— James Talarico (@jamestalarico) July 12, 2021
“My Democratic colleagues and I are leaving the state to break quorum and kill the Texas voter suppression bill,” he said. “We’re flying to DC to demand Congress pass the For The People Act and save our democracy. Good trouble.”
Governor Abbott pointed out during his appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” and blasted the Democrats for fleeing their democratic responsibilities.
“By leaving just days after Abbott convened a special legislative session, Democrats would again deny the GOP majority a quorum to pass bills, barely a month after their walkout in the state House of Representatives thwarted the first push for sweeping new voting restrictions in Texas — including outlawing 24-hour polling places, banning ballot drop boxes and empowering partisan poll watchers,” the report said. “The decision to hole up in Washington is aimed at ratcheting up pressure in the nation’s capital on President Joe Biden and Congress to act on voting at the federal level.”
In May, the Texas Senate passed a slate of election integrity measures to ensure that the state’s elections are free, fair and accountable. The legislation included provisions to purge the voter rolls of non-citizens and non-residents, as well as the implementation of secure voter IDs. The Texas Democrats fled from the vote to deny the legislature from having a quorum.
“Texas Democrats pulled off a dramatic, last-ditch walkout in the state House of Representatives on Sunday night to block passage of one of the most restrictive voting bills in the U.S., leaving Republicans with no choice but to abandon a midnight deadline and declare the legislative session essentially over,” Fox 13 reported at the time.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to arrest members of the Texas Legislature who absconded from their duties to vote on a package of election integrity measures.
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” Abbott said.
Abbott appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday and made it clear that what the Democrats did violated the Texas Constitution’s rules on the legislature.
“What the law is, it’s in the Constitution, and that is the House, the State House of Representatives, who are here in the capitol in Austin right now,” Abbott said, “they do have the ability to issue a call for their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested, but only so long as that arrest is made in the State of Texas. That is why they have fled the state.”
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he added.
Not only will they be arrested if they come back to Texas, a handful of them will have COVID.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.