Texas Democrats walked off the house floor to block voter suppression laws

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Texas, my home state, did well this last election. Then the Big Freeze happened and Texas signed a “heartbeat” anti-abortion law. I have been hanging my head in shame until this weekend. Texas Democrats walked off the House floor to kill voting suppression laws that sore loser Republicans were trying to pass. They tried to pass some of the most restrictive voting laws so far and the Texas Democrats said “hell no.” The Democrats received a text from Rep. Chris Turner to walk off the floor. This forcing Republican Speaker Dade Phelan to concede the vote because they did not have the 100 members needed for a quorum. A temporary move but boss all the same. Below is more on the story from CNN:

Their move effectively killed Senate Bill 7 for this year’s legislative session. But it could soon be revived: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Sunday night that he is adding “election integrity” to a list of topics lawmakers will address in a special session he plans to call.

“Legislators will be expected to have worked out the details when they arrive at the Capitol for the special session,” Abbott said.

Democrats left the chamber at about 10:45 p.m., CT, leaving Republican Speaker Dade Phelan to concede that the House did not have the 100 members necessary for a quorum and to adjourn the House for the night.

It’s not yet clear when Abbott will call the special session. It’s also not clear whether Republicans will enter the special session set on approving SB 7 as it’s currently drafted or will seek to make further changes.

A source tells CNN that Rep. Chris Turner, the House Democratic Caucus chair, sent a text message to all of its members at 10:35 p.m., local time, that read, “Take your key and leave the chamber discretely. Do not go to the gallery. Leave the building.”

Democrats’ decision to leave the House floor and block the bill’s passage came after hours of contentious debate — including Republicans refusing to take questions from Democrats about what the bill would do.

“We used all the tools in our toolbox to fight this bill, and tonight we pulled out that last one,” said Rep. Nicole Collier, who chairs the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, during a midnight news conference at a church in East Austin. “We are no longer going to stand and let them continue to push measures that disenfranchise our voters.”

Collier compared SB 7 to poll taxes and other laws that have historically made it more difficult for Black and Latino people to vote.

“There’s no widespread voter fraud. And so for them to mislead all of Texas into believing that there’s an issue — we’re going to call them out for that,” Collier said. “We may have won the war tonight, but the battle is not over.”

[From CNN]

And of course the Republicans don’t know how to lose so now Gov. Abbott is threatening to veto Article 10 of the budget so that Texas senators and representatives won’t get paid. Oh well, the Texas Dems just beat the Republicans at their own game and I am so proud. Like one of the Reps said, why would we be party to laws that would disenfranchise our voters? These Trump sycophants are doing a lot and are refusing to admit that this is not about voter fraud but about voter suppression. The Republican prefer fascism to fairness. I will be ACTIVELY working with Beto O’Rourke the next year to topple the Texas Republicans. They have made it damn near impossible for Texas to go blue. And I promise you, Texas is NOT a Republican stronghold. I would even argue that a large swath of Texas is more progressive than people give it credit for. I believe that this is why the Texas Republicans are trying to stop people from voting. They KNOW their time is almost up. As for Abbott, I hope he knows his days in office are numbered. It is time Texans take their state back.

Article 10 funds the legislative branch.

No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.

Stay tuned.

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021

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