On May 30th, as the clock began to announce the official dawn of the 87th Legislature, Texas Democrats staged a walkout from the House, breaking quorum before Senate Bill 7 could pass.
SB 7 also known as the voter restriction bill, had been a top GOP priority for the Legislature, aimed to limit the right to vote over unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
The bill changes almost the entire process for early voting, restricting voting hours, local voting options, limiting mail-in voting, drive-thru voting and it would ultimately expand partisan poll watcher’s liberties.
Before the walk-out, the restrictive legislation had caught attention from the White House, especially from President Joe Biden.
“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote,” Biden said in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.”
Last Thursday, White House Director of Political Strategy & Outreach Emmy Ruiz, tweeted a statement from the Vice President’s Office, stating VP Kamala Harris would host a meeting with Texas Legislators who blocked Republican intentions to suppress voting rights.
“We are deeply appreciative that Vice President Harris understands what is at stake and is leading the way to protect our democracy,” Rep. Martinez Fischer said. “We are honored to stand with her, Congressional Democrats, and the entire Biden Administration.”
The upcoming meeting with the Vice President will take place on Wednesday, June 16th, and will include a list of 10 lawmakers, according to the House Democratic Caucus, Reps. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, Nicole Collier of Fort Worth, Rafael Anchia of Dallas, Jessica González of Dallas, Senfronia Thompson of Houston, Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio and Gina Hinojosa of Austin, as well as Sens. Carol Alvarado of Houston, Royce West of Dallas and Beverly Powell of Burleson.