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Mon May 31, 2021, 07:06 PM

After defeating restrictive voting bill, Texas Democrats send loud message: 'We need Congress to do

Source: Washington Post

After defeating restrictive voting bill, Texas Democrats send loud message: ‘We need Congress to do their part’

By Amy Gardner
May 31, 2021 at 6:41 p.m. EDT

Texas Democrats who defeated a Republican effort to pass a suite of new voting restrictions with a dramatic, late-night walkout from the state House chamber on Sunday have a message for President Biden and his allies in Congress: If we can protect voting rights, you can too.

The surprise move by roughly 60 Democratic lawmakers headed off the expected passage of S.B. 7, a voting measure that would have been one of the most stringent in the nation, denying Republicans a required quorum and forcing them to abruptly adjourn without taking a vote.

The coordinated walkout just after 10:30 p.m. Central time jolted the national debate about voting rights, putting the spotlight on Democratic-backed federal legislation that has been stalled in the Senate all spring, even as state Republicans move to enact new voting rules.

“We knew today, with the eyes of the nation watching action in Austin, that we needed to send a message,” state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat, said at a news conference held at a historically Black church in Austin early Monday, shortly after he and other lawmakers left the state Capitol. “And that message is very, very clear: Mr. President, we need a national response to federal voting rights.”

Republicans control every branch of Texas government and hold firm majorities in both the House and Senate. While Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vowed late Sunday to bring the voting measure back at a special legislative session for redistricting later this year — and threatened to defund the legislature in a tweet on Monday — the walkout represented an unmistakable and shocking defeat for Republican leaders who had assumed the bill would pass ahead of the House’s midnight deadline to finish its 2021 business.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-voting-rights-congress/2021/05/31/a3ff5f6a-c229-11eb-93f5-ee9558eecf4b_story.html

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