Instead of accepting defeat in the state legislature, the Democrats of the Texas statehouse decided that they’d simply whisk themselves away to Washington DC to prevent a vote on an election integrity bill to occur.
This was the second time they had pulled a stunt like this in less than a year, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now said that these lawmakers will be arrested upon their reentry to Texas, and taken to the legislature to make certain that the vote occurs.
Now it seems as though members of the Texas GOP are making good on Abbott’s promise.
Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) signed a civil arrest warrant on Monday for State Representative Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) for his failure to return to the House of Representatives, the Texas Tribune reported. Cortez abandoned his fellow Democrats late last week when he unexpectedly returned to Texas. Cortez claimed he returned to Austin to attempt to engage in a “good faith dialogue” on the matter of House Bill 3, the election law reform bill.
After receiving harsh criticism from fellow Democrats for returning to Austin without consulting them, Cortez returned to Washington, D.C. The San Antonio Democrat currently serves as chairman of the House Urban Affairs Committee.
Speaker Phelan issued a statement saying, in part, that Cortez had “irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of the chamber.” The speaker added that Cortez “represented to me and his fellow members that he wanted to work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas.”
The bill in question has been criticized by Texas Democrats as unfairly prohibitive to communities of color, while the GOP says that the law would simply strengthen the security of the election itself, in an effort to prevent fraud from occurring.
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