SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Texas House Republican Caucus spoke publicly this afternoon about what they say is at stake after Texas Democrats broke quorum by leaving the state.
At least 51 Texas House Democrats left the state yesterday and flew to Washington D.C. to stop the vote on voting and election security bills as well as to urge federal lawmakers to enact federal voting protections.
In a press conference at the State Capitol, state lawmakers said more than voting and election integrity are on the line.
“This morning, the Texas House enacted a Call of the House to ensure the return of these absent members,” Chairman of the Texas House Republican Caucus Rep. Jim Murphy said. “The call will remain in effect until all actions on the Governor’s proclamation in the special session is complete.”
The 11 items identified on the special session agenda are bail reform, election integrity, border security, social media censorship, Article X funding, family violence prevention, youth sports, abortion-inducing drugs, a bonus pension check for retired teachers, critical race theory and appropriations related to property tax relief, child safety through privatization of foster care system and cybersecurity.
Lawmakers said that a bill to provide retired teachers with a bonus “13th check” for pension payouts hangs in the balance in Democrats do not return to vote on the bill. The Texas Senate voted to pass the bill Tuesday.
House Republicans said all action items from the agenda stand to fall to the wayside for as long as Democrats break quorum.
“We denounce the decision to flee the state and to avoid voting on critical legislation that Texans desperately need and care about,” Murphy said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Monday night that Texas Democrats will be arrested and “cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done” as soon as they return to the state.
“In addition to [having them arrested], however, I can and I will continue to call special session after special session after special session all the way until [the] election next year,” Abbott said. “So if these people wanna be hanging 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.”