Texas Democrats walk off House floor to block GOP voting bill

FILE – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gives his State of the State Address in the House Chamber in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

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UPDATED 12:41 PM PT – Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) vowed to defund the state’s legislative branch after state Democrats refused to pass an election integrity bill. In a tweet on Monday, Abbott stated he would veto Article 10 of the recently passed state budget that funds the state’s legislature.

On Sunday, state Democrat representatives walked off the floor of the House and effectively blocked the vote on a major elections reform bill by breaking quorum. SB 7 was introduced by Republicans in an effort to ensure integrity in future elections. It passed through the Texas Senate with ease and was highly expected to pass through the House, where Republicans currently hold an 83 to 67 majority.

Democrats thwarted that effort by claiming many of the bill’s provisions are too strict and amount to voter suppression. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) responded to the matter stating, “it’s worth remembering that our democracy is the exception and not the rule in world history.” He went on to say, “as hard fought as this democracy was won, we can so easily lose it with provisions like this one.”

Heading into this last legislative session, Abbott outlined election integrity and bail reform as two hot button items. Neither of those issues were addressed by lawmakers. In a tweet on Sunday, Abbott said those two things will be “emergency items for a special legislative session” and asserted that they both must pass. Abbott did not say when the special session will take place, but mentioned legislators are expected to have details worked out when they arrive at the Capitol.

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