Politics

Texas House Votes To ‘Send For’ Democrats Who Flew To Washington, D.C., Arresting Them If Necessary

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The Texas House on Tuesday voted 76-4 to have the Sergeant at Arms send for at least 51 members who have gone to Washington, D.C., possibly using arrest warrants, to get them back to the state.

The Democrats will be ordered back to Texas unless they have an excused absence. It is worth noting that the Sergeant at Arms or another officer will only arrest the unexcused lawmakers if necessary. So, they can only be arrested if they don’t go willingly.

Texas Democrats left the Lone Star State on Monday to deny the GOP majority a quorum to pass bills. The Democrats also left the House during the 87th Texas Legislative Session back in May. That move led to Gov. Greg Abbott calling the special session, which started on July 8.

‘They will be arrested.’ Gov. Abbott responds to Texas Democrats’ flight to Washington, D.C.

Just like in 2003, Texas Rangers can’t cross state lines to arrest lawmakers

The vote on Tuesday comes one day after Abbott declared on KVUE that the House members who fled the state would be arrested.

“Answering your second question, yes, there is something the governor can do. First of all, I’ll tell you what the House of Representatives can do. What the speaker can do is issue a call to have these members arrested,” Abbott said. “In addition to that, however, I can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year. And so if these people want to be hanging out wherever they’re hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they’re going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year. 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. Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers on watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility.”

The Democrats held a press conference Tuesday morning, where they said the decision to leave Texas was the last move in their playbook and a final effort to try and stop GOP-sponsored legislation they call “Jim Crow 2.0.”

“We’re fighting with everything we got,” Rep. Jasmine Crockett said. “If we would have gone back tomorrow I fully anticipate they would have locked the doors and locked us in until they got these bills passed.”

The group of lawmakers said Tuesday morning they plan to stay in D.C. until after Aug. 7 when the special session is set to end and plan to pressure Congress to step in.

As of late Tuesday morning, the House of Representatives was standing at ease and the lawmakers were locked inside the chamber – a procedural move to try and achieve a quorum.

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan did not ask lawmakers to register or take attendance Tuesday, due to the obvious absen… (Read more)