In spite of risking arrest for leaving town during the ongoing special session, Texas Democrats are apparently heading to Washington in an effort to halt Republican priorities such as voter restriction and prohibiting transgender youth from competing in school sports.
As reported by NBC, at least 58 Democratic members of the state House of Representatives are expected to bolt from Austin on Monday, in an effort to block the measures from advancing which would paralyze the chamber, stopping business until the lawmakers return to town or the session ends.
Texan Democrats have already seemed to have broken quorum, with many of them absent during the floor session upon adjournment and ready to fly to Washington D.C with the objective of rallying federal support instead.
This new move comes six weeks after their first walk-out successfully stopped voter restriction and bail reform, and as breaking legislative quorum in Texas requires leaving the state, Democrats are apparently expecting to be tracked down by the Department of Public Safety.
With Republican priorities being fast paced in the special session -HB3 and SB1 votes expected to happen this week after marathonic hearings- there are little options left for Democrats, as Governor Greg Abbott has enough power to call as many sessions as he wants.
With a requirement of 51 of 67 Democrats leaving the state to block a vote in the State House and 11 of 13 Democrats in the Senate, according to the New York Times, the escape follows several days of internal deliberations about how aggressively to resist the Republican proposals on voting.
Last Sunday, at the Capitol, former congressman Beto O’Rourke told Editorial director at Vote Beat Jessica Huseman, he hoped that if Democrats walked out they’d go to DC and sit on the steps of the Capitol, forcing their federal counterparts to walk by them, realizing they haven’t done enough to help.