July 13, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday said the Democratic lawmakers who left the state earlier that day to deny Republicans a quorum to convene a special legislative session and consider a sweeping elections reform bill will be arrested upon their return to the Lone Star State.
A majority of Texas House Democrats fled the state on a charter flight bound for Washington, D.C., on Monday in an effort to stop the passage of a measure that would overhaul the state’s election procedures, in addition to other controversial priorities backed by Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), during a special legislative session.
Members of the caucus carried out a similar effort in May, staging a walkout from the state House floor late one night to block the passage of the elections procedures bill, which would have restricted access to the ballot box.
The bill called for new limits on early voting and curbside voting, banned round-the-clock voting centers and voting facilities in outdoor structures like parking garages, eliminated straight-ticket voting and limited the use of drop boxes.
Abbott on Monday vowed to arrest the lawmakers who fled and hold them inside the state Capitol “until they get their job done.”
“If these people want to be hanging out wherever they’re hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they’re going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year. As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” Abbott told local station KVUE.
He said the Speaker of the state House can also “issue a call to have these members arrested.”
The governor added that he “can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year.”