More than 50 Democrats left Austin for Washington prevent the passage of Republican bill
Texas’ governor has called Democrats in the state’s legislature who fled for Washington to prevent the passage of Republican-led voting bills “hypocrites” and vowed they will be arrested upon their return.
Gregg Abbott said the move was the most “un-Texan thing” he had ever heard, calling the lawmakers “quitters” and “hypocrites” in an appearance on Fox News on Monday.
The governor went on to say that the state’s House of Representatives has the power to issue a call for the arrest of lawmakers who obstruct voting practices but only in the state of Texas.
He said: “Once they step back into the state of Texas they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol and we will be conducting business.”
More than 50 Democrats left Austin for Dulles International Airport on Monday before the House was expected to give early approval to a sweeping new voting restrictions bill, which critics say disproportionately targets minority groups.
The legislation is one of a wave of GOP-backed election bills introduced by Republicans around the country following former President Donald Trump’s false claims regarding the 2020 election.
The reduced numbers meant the House would not have enough lawmakers in attendance to conduct business or vote on the bill.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press