Texas Democrats in the legislature are so desperate to avoid securing our elections that they just violated their oaths of office. Governor Gregg Abbott (R) has shown he has absolutely no tolerance for their childish tantrum either. Rather than hold an honest open debate about the merits and potential shortcomings of Texas SB7 an election security bill, Democrats abandoned their posts, removing their voting keys from the Capitol building and leaving the complex to avoid the vote.
The exodus from the floor came after Chris Turner, the House Democratic chairman, sent instructions to colleagues at 10:35 p.m. CDT: “Members, take your key and leave the chamber discreetly. Do not go to the gallery. Leave the building.” https://t.co/ZGXa1hcwpG
— Amy Gardner (@AmyEGardner) May 31, 2021
Abbott has since responded via Twitter that in response to this dereliction of duty, he will Veto Article 10 of the Texas Budget, depriving the legislators and consequently their staffs of pay. The Governor had placed such a heavy emphasis on the critical nature of the election integrity bill as well as another initiative on bail and was clearly displeased with the Democrats’ move and promised a special session would be summoned, with a warning to legislators.
“Election Integrity & Bail Reform were emergency items for this legislative session. They STILL must pass,” Abbott tweeted. “They will be added to the special session agenda. Legislators will be expected to have worked out the details when they arrive at the Capitol for the special session.”
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Walk-Out: The Legislative Temper Tantrum
This type of walkout/temper tantrum has become increasingly common as the partisan divide in America continues to widen and tensions continue to flare. The National Conference of State Legislators wrote in 2019,
“As state politics become more partisan and lawmakers are less willing to negotiate legislation, walkouts may be used more frequently. The tactic, which at times gains national attention, can run out the clock on legislative sessions and stall bills that otherwise would have passed.”
While this tactic has been employed repeatedly in states like Oregon, California and Wisconsin, it’s only happened a total of three other times in Texas, in 2003 Democrats fled to Oklahoma to avoid a vote on redistricting in 1979 the “killer bees” fled to defeat an early Presidential Primary and Primary election filing fees and in 1870 a vote to call up the militia and declare martial law during The Reconstruction.
Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan harshly criticized the Democrats move,
“Today, on the second to last day of session, a number of members have chosen to disrupt the legislative process by abandoning the legislative chamber before our work was done,” he said in a statement to the press.
“In doing so, these members killed a number of strong, consequential bills with broad bipartisan support including legislation to ban no-knock warrants, reform our bail system, and invest in the mental health of Texans – items that their colleagues and countless advocates have worked hard to get to this point.”
The Texas Democrats are using the delay of the inevitable to a special session to grandstand and appeal to Washington, D.C. for intervention. As they desperately try to falsely ascribe the characteristics of “Jim Crow 2.0” to the simple bill designed to prevent the suspected electoral fraud and evident manipulation that ushered the Biden-Harris regime into power, they chose to meet at the nearby Mt. Zion Baptist Church for symbolic purposes.
According to the DallasNews Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D), said they would fight again in a special session and criticized Abbott for promising to call them back over this bill when he did not after other tragic events in recent years.
“You won’t call a special session for COVID. You won’t call a special session for mass shootings,” Martinez Fischer said. “You won’t call a special session for Hurricane Harvey.”Abbott will this time, he added, “to line up your partisan political chops.”
Martinez Fischer pointed to President Joe Biden’s statements on Saturday, likening the Texas legislation to recent laws passed in Georgia and Florida that he said were “wrong and un-American” and “an assault on democracy” targeting “Black and Brown” voters and called for federal action.
“Mr. President, we need a national response — federal voting rights,” he said making reference to Congressional Democrats’ catastrophic federal usurpation of election regulation in HR1 the so-called “For The People Act“.
That’s the nature of the childish response from Texas Democrats: throw a tantrum, stamp their feet, pout, cry and run away when they don’t get your way. And then cry for their Daddy to intervene.