The Texas House voted Tuesday to authorize the utility of arrest warrants to compel the attendance of Democrats who flee the state to avoid a special session.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Democrat state legislators who for a protest against a voting overhaul bill, left a special session to “will be arrested” when they return from Washington D.C.
The lawmakers on Monday announced that they left Texas in order to deny Republican lawmakers the required quorum to convene the special legislative session to consider an election overhaul in the state and confirmed they left on a charter flight to Washington. Members of the Democrat caucus staged a similar walkout on May 30 to avoid the election overhaul bill, which pushed for limits on early and curbside voting, bans 24-hour voting centers, limits the usage of ballot drop-boxes, and other provisions.
Abbott (Republican) told KVUE-TV that the House speaker’s office has the power to arrest the lawmakers that fled and he will continue to call special sessions until they “get the job done.”
“There is something the governor can do. First of all, I’ll tell you what the House of Representatives can do. What the speaker can do is issue a call to have these members arrested,” Abbott stated. “In addition to that, however, I can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year.”
Abbott also added that the Democrats are “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 stated.
“Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility.”, he remarked.