Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives stood in front of the U.S. House in Washington on Tuesday after leaving their state and blocking action on a GOP-sponsored voting measure in Texas that they say amounts to voter suppression. The lawmakers also urged members of Congress and President Biden to act to preserve voting rights nationwide.
Biden is to address the issue later Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
More than 50 Democrats arrived in Washington on Monday night, depriving the Texas House of the two-thirds of the 150-member body needed for a quorum to conduct a vote.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has threated to arrest the lawmakers upon their return to Texas and compel them to participate. The current special session to take up the voting bills ends Aug. 7, and Abbott vowed to call “special session after special session” to force lawmakers eventually to take up the measures.
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The Texas legislation would eliminate some provisions put in place after the coronavirus pandemic to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots. It would ban drive-through voting and empower partisan poll watchers.