The Texas Senate passed a voting reform bill on Tuesday. Despite missing Democrats, the election integrity bill passed with enough state senators present along party lines 18-4.
Texas House Democrats who fled the state rather than vote on the bill have warrants for their arrest should they return to the state prior to the expiration of the legislative term on August 7.
Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to call special session after special session to get the election bill, as well as measures like bail reform, passed through the Texas Legislature.
“The Senate’s election bill, SB1, passed 18 to 4 after several hours of debate Tuesday afternoon,” CBS reported on the bill’s passage. “Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes, the bill’s author, said the bill cracks down on the potential for cheating and touted the expanded early voting hours in some counties and opportunities for voters to fix small issues with their mail-in ballots.”
“How much fraud’s okay? None. How much suppression’s okay? None,” Hughes said. “That’s why this bill makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
“The four Senate Democrats present pushed back against many of its provisions, including bans on 24-hour and drive-thru voting, powers for poll watchers and potential penalties for people who assist voters,” CBS added.
The State of Texas will also have Democratic members of the House who fled votes on critical state business arrested or detained if necessary upon their return.
The Texas House voted 76-4 to arrest the state legislature’s members who fled the state to deny a vote on election reform bills. Watch:
Earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that the ‘flee-a-bustering’ members of the Texas House can actually be arrested upon their return if they are needed for a vote.
“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.
Texas Governor Abbott did make it clear on “The Ingraham Angle” 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.
Now, there will be a Texas standoff as Democrats must remain out-of-state or potentially face being dragged to the House to do their democratic duties.
“The legislators will have to remain out of the state for weeks to successfully run out the clock on the 30-day special session,” the Wall Street Journal noted. “State Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a news conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday that at least 57 of 67 Democrats in the chamber had formally asked for their voting machines to be locked.”
As Texas Democrats dodge voting on the critical state business due to their minority status in the state House, they are furiously fundraising off of the stunt.
“Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke encouraged Twitter followers on Monday to ‘Support Texas House Democrats as they fight back against voter suppression in Texas and take the fight to our nation’s capitol’,” the Journal noted, adding, “A linked fundraising page said donations would help provide resources to block Texas voting bills. As of Monday evening, Mr. O’Rourke tweeted that Democrats had raised over $140,000.”