The NAACP on Tuesday vowed to bail out any Texas Democrat arrested by state authorities for running away from a special legislative session earlier in the week called by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott to consider, among other things, new voter integrity legislation.
“War has been declared on democracy, and we will support anyone who stands up to defend it. We are fully invested in good trouble,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement.
The pledge comes after nearly 60 state Democrats boarded chartered busses and planes on Monday to intentionally deny a quorum to majority Republicans who are pushing to shore up voter integrity ahead of the 2022 elections following a chaotic and mistrusted 2020 election cycle.
“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote,” Democratic leaders said in a joint statement on Monday.
“We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol,” Texas Democrats continued in their statement. “We are living on borrowed time in Texas.”
‘Cowards’: Texas Dems caught gloating in private jet with a case of beer as they abscond their duties https://t.co/NhGC8GPC1T
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) July 14, 2021
The Democrats traveled to Washington, D.C., to press congressional members of their party to do whatever it takes to pass H.R. 1, called “For The People Act,” a sweeping overhaul of election laws that would replace current rules in all 50 states, though they are constitutionally designated to primarily run elections.
The Democratic lawmakers vowed to remain in Washington for as long as necessary in order to deny a legislative quorum. The current special session lasts about 25 more days, according to reports; Abbott has the authority to continue calling special sessions in perpetuity in order to get the state’s business done.
One of the Democrats’ biggest objections is legislation shoring up voter identification, which they have falsely claimed Republicans designed to make it more difficult for Democrat-leaning Texas of color to vote. But national surveys have found that, overwhelmingly, both Democrat and Republican voters back voter ID laws.
“An overwhelming majority (81%) of respondents also said they support voters being required to show ID in order to vote, including 62% of Democrats, even as critics contend voter ID laws suppress turnout and unfairly discriminate against groups like low-income, elderly and minority voter,” Forbes reported in June, citing a Monmouth University survey.
In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Monday evening, Abbott vowed to have all Democrats who bailed on the proceedings arrested.
“Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas capital and we will be conducting business,” Abbott said.
“Isn’t that the most un-Texan thing you have ever heard? Texans running from a fight?” he told the host. “They are quitters. It’s like during a football game or baseball game taking their equipment when they are way behind and just leaving the field. That is not the way that Texans do things.”
The GOP governor also lashed out at fleeing state Democrats for “hypocrisy.”
“They are leaving and abandoning their right to vote” — a knock on their stated purpose of ensuring voting rights for state residents — he said.
“It’s a sad commentary that we may have to utilize a procedural rule to try and force most of the Democrats to show up to do the job they were elected to do,” added Rep. Dustin Burrows, a Republican lawmaker from Lubbock who chairs of the influential House Calendars Committee.
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