Texas Democrats are once again making history. Right now, Texas Democratic lawmakers are walking out to break quorum in defense of voting rights in Texas and block further consideration of anti-voter bills HB 3 and SB 1 — a core subject of an irregular special session called by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
After Democrats historically blocked Republicans’ anti-voter efforts in the spring legislative session, Abbott called an irregular extra legislative session in order to resurrect the anti-voter legislation — Republicans’ main hope of holding onto power in the 2022 election. In response to Republicans’ escalation of their attacks on voters, Democrats continue to hold the line. With Republicans determined to pass anti-voter laws in Texas — already the hardest state in the nation to vote in — Texas Democrats are using every tool at their disposal to guarantee the right to vote remains intact for all Texans.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Today, by breaking quorum to block Abbott’s attacks on voters, Texas Democrats are making history. After Abbott dragged lawmakers back to the Capitol for his suppression session, Democrats are fighting back with everything we’ve got. We will not stand by and watch Republicans slash our right to vote, silence the voices of Texans of color, and destroy our democracy — all to preserve their own power. Our lawmakers have refused to be complicit in Republicans’ destructive attacks — and they’re doing what Texans need them to do: hold the line so that not one more anti-voter law can be passed in Texas.
“There’s no democracy without the right to vote. Once again, Democrats are standing strong and united to defend the right of every eligible Texas voter to make their voice heard. I’m incredibly proud of our Texas Democratic lawmakers, who continue to fight relentlessly on behalf of Texans, voters, and our democracy.
“Republicans are attacking our voting rights for one reason: they know their days in power are numbered, so they’re trying to cling to power the only way they can — by stopping us from voting. Texas Democrats have stood strong in the face of these attacks all year, and we will not let up. We will keep holding the line for our democracy and the voice of every single Texan.”
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner, Mexican American Legislative Caucus Chair Rafael Anchía, Texas Legislative Black Caucus Chair Nicole Collier, Legislative Study Group Caucus Chair Garnet Coleman and Dean Senfronia Thompson released the following statement on the decision to break quorum:
“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote.
“We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol. We are living on borrowed time in Texas. We need Congress to act now to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to protect Texans — and all Americans — from the Trump Republicans’ nationwide war on democracy.”
Texas Freedom Network Responds to Breaking of Quorum in Legislature:
More than 50 Democratic lawmakers have left the state denying a quorum and halting the progression of a draconian voter suppression bill. This is the second time Democratic lawmakers use this tactic as Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick have tried repeatedly to restrict access to the ballot even further, largely for political gain. Measures under consideration would dramatically reduce early voting hours, ban drive-thru voting, impose new restrictions on naturalized citizens and grant special protections for partisan poll watchers.
Texas Freedom Network Executive Director Val Benavidez:
“This is a historical day for Texas. Advocates, voters, and friendly legislators have spoken out for months against the voter suppression efforts of the Republican Party, and this second walkout is an example of how much we will all fight to protect our democratic right to vote.
“Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick have proven willing to take extreme measures to advance an agenda that attacks Texans’ rights and diminishes Texas’ democracy. And extreme measures call for an extraordinary response. Today’s action by more than 50 Democratic lawmakers rejects their patently corrupt special legislative session, and is a critical step toward blocking this assault on Texans’ rights in its tracks.
“By denying a quorum to a blatant attempt at a power grab by Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick, these Democratic lawmakers are listening to Texans and taking a critical stand for the future of our state’s democracy. The Texas Freedom Network applauds them, and will similarly not rest until our lawmakers once again focus on the issues actually facing Texans today, like our crumbling power grid.”
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