State’s house democrats wind down the first week of their quorum break in Washington, D.C., to delay Republican-backed voting bills, their colleagues on the other side of the aisle are stepping up attempts to persuade them to come home.
“I’m requesting that all of our colleagues in Washington, D.C., call my staff right away to reserve a spot on the plane and return to Austin to conduct state business. The state of Texas is awaiting your arrival “In a statement, Phelan stated.
The Texas Democrats responded by saying they had no plans to take up Phelan’s request.
“The Speaker should put his money in a savings account. “We’re not going anywhere and suggest instead that the speaker end this charade of a session, which is nothing more than a month-long campaign commercial for Gov. Abbott’s re-election,” they said in a joint statement, adding, “We’re not going anywhere and suggest instead that the speaker end this charade of a session, which is nothing more than a month-long campaign commercial for Gov. Abbott’s re-election.” The House should be adjourned sine die by the speaker.”
The Texas House Speaker cannot compel the Democrats to return to Texas after making the open request. Similarly, state law enforcement officers do not have jurisdiction beyond state boundaries to compel politicians to return.
In an attempt to stop the progress of two Republican-backed measures that would modify the state’s voting and election rules, a handful of Democrats departed Texas on Monday to break quorum and wait out the conclusion of their ongoing special legislative session. If passed, the legislation, according to voting rights groups, would make it more difficult for Texans to vote. By breaching quorum, the lawmakers also stymied the progress of a slew of other proposals that state Republican Gov. Greg Abbott deemed important for the legislature, which his party controls.
“When the current special session concludes, I will immediately call another special session, and I will continue to call further special sessions so that we can solve concerns,” Abbott said in a CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth interview on Thursday.
In an effort to avoid another wave of walkouts, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who also chairs the Texas Senate, wrote to Abbott on Thursday, requesting that he add an item to the upcoming session that would modify quorum rules to a simple majority attendance basis.
“Texans want their legislature to function rather than being held hostage by a few politicians abusing the quorum requirement. A simple majority plus one is required in the majority of other state legislatures “Patrick penned a letter.
To conduct business, two-thirds of elected members in each chamber must be present, according to current regulations. Abbott has yet to say if he intends to make the change.