OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is taking a hardline approach with Democrats who have fled the state to stop the Republican Texas legislature from passing new voting laws.
When he appeared on Fox News on Monday night the Texas governor said that the Democrats who fled the state will be arrested when they return.
On Tuesday, the Texas House voted 76-4 to have the Sergeant-at-Arms send for the Democrats who fled, KHOU reported.
The Democrats will be ordered back to Texas unless they have an excused absence.
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.
“Isn’t that the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard? Texans running from a fight? They’re quitters,” he said on Fox News.
“It’s like during a football game or baseball game, taking their equipment when they’re way behind and just leaving the field. That is not the way that Texas, Texans do things,” he added.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days, and the governor calls them and I will continue calling special session after special session, because over time it’s going to continue until they step up to vote,” he said.
“The thesis that they are operating under is completely false, because what the Texas law does, doesn’t hinder anybody’s ability to vote. And in fact, interestingly, what Texas is seeking to do is to add additional hours to vote. Texas has 12 days of early voting and the hours of which will be expanded. And we will ensure that hours are expanded on Election Day also. So their entire thesis is completely wrong. And compare early voting in Texas with early voting that we have in Delaware. Texas has 12 days of early voting. Delaware has zero days of early voting. Why am I picking on Delaware? Because that is where the President himself voted in the last election. And if anybody wants to talk about voter suppression, they should be talking about Delaware, not Texas,” he added.
“And that’s one reason why they’re losing the arguments with regard to voting on this issue and other issues in the state of Texas,” the governor said.
Abbott said: “But I want to point this out for your viewers who are watching from Texas, because by the Democrats fleeing, they’re also fleeing what we’re trying to achieve by cutting your property taxes and by making sure that we secure the border, by funding very important projects such as law enforcement in communities that have high crime. And so by fleeing the state of Texas, they’re doing more than just appealing to the President. They’re using taxpayer money on this political junket to Washington, D.C., to prevent us from passing laws that will make our communities better.”
Meanwhile, the Texas Democrats have been doing television appearances and posting pictures of themselves on Twitter as if they are heroes.
“What the law is, it’s in the Constitution, and that is the house, the State House of Representatives who were here in the Capitol in Austin right now, they do have the ability to issue a call to have their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested, but only so long as that arrest is made in the state of Texas,” he said. “That’s why they have fled the state. Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol, and we will be conducting business.”
"Most Un-Texan Thing To Do": @GregAbbott_TX mocks Dems for "running away from a fight," says they fled state bc they can be arrested for refusing work
Abbott also notes they're complaining about a bill that expands voting access far more than states like Delaware currently have pic.twitter.com/xXcwVkGdLA
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 13, 2021
Texas Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer appeared on CNN as said he and other Democrats are willing to be arrested.
"We are elected by the constituents to be their voice … We have to have the courage, we have to have conviction, and sometimes a little bit of defiance," Texas House Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer says on leaving the state to block Republicans from passing voting restrictions. pic.twitter.com/AJykfcjbdS
— New Day (@NewDay) July 13, 2021
“This is the risk that we take to stand up for democracy,’” Martinez Fisher said CNN when he was questioned about the governor possibly sending law enforcement to get them.
“We are elected by the constituents to be their voice … We have to have the courage, we have to have conviction, and sometimes a little bit of defiance,” he said.