WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Democrats in the Texas Legislature announced they will leave the state in order to deny Republicans of the quorum they need to move forward with their latest voter suppression efforts during the state’s special session. The state House and Senate versions of new voter suppression bills were released at the end of last week and mark the second attempt by state Republicans to pass significant omnibus voter suppression legislation after Democrats walked out of the Legislature in May and prevented Senate Bill 7 from passing in the regular session.
Texas Democrats plan to fly from Austin to Washington, D.C., on Monday afternoon. The lawmakers must leave the state in order to deny Republicans of their quorum — if they stay within Texas state lines, Republicans in the Legislature are allowed to send Texas law enforcement to bring Democrats back to the chamber to continue the session. The state Democrats plan to fly to the district in order to pressure the U.S. Senate to take action on voting rights and reintroduce the For the People Act after Senate Republicans blocked debate on the bill.