Vice President Kamala Harris praised Texas Democrats for showing ‘courage’ by fleeing the state to prevent a vote on Republican election integrity bills in the state legislature.
Over 50 Democrats departed Austin for Washington, D.C. on a pair of flights chartered by the Texas House Democratic Caucus at a price tag of $100,000, according to USA Today.
By fleeing, Democrats have left the Texas House without a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers, and have thus prevented conducting votes.
Harris – who has said she wants to get rid of the filibuster – speaking at an event in Detroit, claimed the Democrats were “showing extraordinary courage and commitment.”
“I applaud them standing for the rights of all Americans and all Texans to express their voice through their vote, unencumbered,” she said, failing to grasp the irony of their effort to prevent votes in the legislature.
Harris went so far as to claim the Texas Democrats were on par with others who have given their lives for the right to vote.
“I will say that they are leaders who are marching in the path that so many others before did, when they fought and many died for our right to vote,” she added.
.@VP applauds Texas Democrats for standing for the rights of all Americans and Texans.
Texas Dems are standing up to protect democracy and Congress should follow their lead & pass the #ForthePeopleAct and the #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct pic.twitter.com/tGUQTOoi2r
— Building Back Together (@BuildingBack_US) July 12, 2021
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Texas Democrats Fear Arrest
Texas Democrats can block the voting bills by remaining out of the state through the end of the special legislative session, which could go as long as 30 days.
The Daily Mail reports that “the Democrats risk arrest” and are concerned state Republicans will “send law enforcement officials, possibly including the Texas Rangers, after them.”
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By leaving the state, however, that scenario becomes highly unlikely, as Texas lawmakers will lack jurisdiction.
It’s when they get back to Texas that things will start to get interesting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, “Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business.”
In Texas, blocking a legislative quorum requires not just leaving the Capitol but leaving the state. If lawmakers remain in Texas, state law enforcement officials including the Texas Rangers can be dispatched to round them up and return them for votes. https://t.co/9bTdtaBwnn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 12, 2021
Social media posts didn’t show Democrats seemingly all too concerned about their detrimental actions. Some photos showed them, all smiles, flashing peace signs as they sat on their getaway jet.
Time to recall them all. #txlege wasn’t elected to quit on their constituents. It is time to replace them. pic.twitter.com/Oyjs7MeGdI
— Samuel Williams (@votesamuelwill1) July 12, 2021
Another image showed the group with a case of Miller Lite in tow on the bus to the airport.
Instead Of Showing Up To Work, Texas Democrats Grab Some Miller Lites And Go On Maskless Flight To Save Democracy From Big Bad Republicanshttps://t.co/wxPTmqQ2wH
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 13, 2021
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Abbott Blasts The Democrats
Abbott blasted the Texas Democrats, insisting they “must put aside partisan political games and get back to the job they were elected to do.”
“As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state,” he said, indicating other votes being abandoned involve property tax relief and money for children in foster care.
Democrats must get back to the job they were elected to do.
Their constituents must not be denied important resources simply because their elected representatives refused to show up to work. pic.twitter.com/dGC9DceRaZ
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 12, 2021
Harris’ comments, in light of having been put in charge of expanding voter access by President Biden, signal that the Texas Democrats’ behavior will be praised, if not encouraged, in other states seeking to improve election integrity.
When it comes to protecting our right to vote, all cards are on the table. We broke #quorum again today because the Gov & #txlege Repubs chose to bully Texans out of our constitutional rights instead of finding solutions to problems that really exist. #SuppressionSession #DemsOut https://t.co/muMdHLSy9F pic.twitter.com/9UbJnB8ehW
— Julie Johnson (@juliejohnsonTX) July 12, 2021
While in D.C., the Democrats will reportedly demand that Congress pass the For the People Act and “save our democracy.”
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