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The group of Texas Democrats who bolted to Washington D.C. to break quorum and prevent their Republican colleagues from passing election integrity bills, abortion restriction bills, and bills restricting the participation of biological males in girls’ sports, are reportedly furious that Biden has refused, thus far, to meet with them.
Texas Democrats plan to stay in Washington D.C. until at least August 7, when they are no longer in danger of being pulled into a special legislative session by their colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives. Legislators involved in the trip insist that the $1.5 million bill is being footed by campaign funds and supporters who want to see them succeed.
According to a Dallas Democratic coalition, members of the group are also begging supporters for “care packages” for their continued stay in D.C., despite already having spent a reported $1.5 million at their stay in the capitol.
The group is reportedly begging for its supporters to send them amenities like Dr. Pepper, hard candy, toiletries, and hairspray as they continue to avoid their duties as elected lawmakers. Supporters are also expected to pay for shipping the items to the legislators via Amazon.
💙 Our Dems in DC said they’d appreciate care packages from home. Before 5pm Tues, we're collecting Dr. Pepper, salsa, hard candy, hairspray, travel toiletries, hand sanitizers, sewing kits, first aid, and/ or $ to pay shipping. TY!
📍 9am-5pm, M-F 1414 N. Washington Ave, Dallas pic.twitter.com/PgZHQTy10h
— Dallas Democrats (@dallasdemocrats) July 24, 2021
On Sunday, the Austin Statesman reported that the Democrats are “frustrated” with Biden’s refusal to meet with them, and has not yet given them any indication when he will, if ever, decide to do so.
The group remains in Washington D.C. to wait out a special session in the Texas legislature.
“The quorum-busting Democrats in Washington have gained meetings with several high-profile party leaders in their quest for federal action on voting rights, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Vice President Kamala Harris, and several Democratic senators,” the Statesman reported. “But they still await the biggest get of all: President Joe Biden. And on Thursday, they expressed frustration over the White House’s apparent disinterest in scheduling a meeting with members of the Texas group.”
One member of the delegation reportedly complained about the issue while on a Zoom call with Texas Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
“He won’t meet with us on Zoom like this, and I’m trying to be tactful, but I don’t know how else to say it, man. I’m just pissed off at this point. He doesn’t give us the respect the way you have,” Rep. Richard Peña Raymond said.
Biden’s reason for avoiding meeting with the Texas Democrats may not simply be political. At least six members of the group have tested positive for COVID-19 after flying maskless on two private jets.
Following their meetings with Vice President Kamala Harris, the veep had herself tested at Walter Reed Medical Center, as reported by Conservative Brief last week.
The White House says that the visit is for a “routine doctor’s appointment,” though the timing is curious particularly because it is a “routine” checkup on a Sunday.
On Saturday, Symone Sanders, the spokesperson for Harris, said that Harris was not in close contact with the lawmakers who tested positive, but judging by a photo on her Twitter account “close” would be in the eye of the beholder.
Furthermore, following the reports that members of the group had caught the illness, several aides to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and several White House aides also tested positive after attending a reception with the group-in-exile, suggesting that their presence may have been responsible for spreading it to Capitol staff.
Neither the White House nor the Texas Democrats say that they will be giving an updated count of how many aides and legislators had tested positive for the virus, leaving details of the situation up in the air.