Enough Democrats have returned to the House floor in Texas, ending the party's historic quorum break. This now paves the way for a major election overhaul bill led by the Republicans to pass in the Lone Star State. It's the first time in 37 days the House has had enough for the two-thirds quorum, allowing any legislative business to be done.
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner released the following statement:
“For the past 38 days, Texas House Democrats have denied quorum to prevent Texas Republicans from undermining our democracy by forcing anti-voter bills through the legislative process. And, based on numerous media reports, it seems evident there was not a true quorum present today — ironic, given this entire session is premised around Republicans preaching about so-called voter integrity.
“By taking bold action and breaking quorum, House Democrats secured major victories for Texans and for voters across the country. Through our determination and unity, we derailed Gov. Abbott’s entire first special session, preventing passage of anti-voter bills and other pointless, partisan legislation. Through our continued efforts, we have already burned up a third of Abbott’s second special session, which is nothing more than a prop for his re-election campaign.
“Our hard work in the nation’s capital resulted in clear and urgent action from Congress to prioritize sweeping voter protection legislation. By bringing this fight to Washington, D.C., we moved voting rights off the backburner and ignited a national movement. In fact, next week, the U.S. House is expected to return from recess to take up H.R. 4 — the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — well ahead of schedule. H.R. 4 and H.R. 1 — the For the People Act — are pivotal to protecting Texans from discriminatory voting laws and redistricting schemes, and we will continue to press for their passage.
“All 66 members of the Democratic Caucus oppose Texas Republicans' efforts to erect deliberate barriers to voting, barriers based on the Big Lie. We will fight with everything we have in this special session to protect Texas voters and push for real solutions to the actual issues families in our state face every day.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“I am beyond proud of our Texas Democratic legislators, who have spent a near-record 38 days denying Texas Republicans a legislative quorum and thwarting their efforts to pass anti-voter legislation. This is what it looks like to stand up for Texans. Our Texas Democrats in D.C. ferociously lobbied for federal solutions to protect our right to vote. They showed the world what it means to be a Texas Democrat -- and brought the eyes of our entire country to the fight Texans are facing. Their work forced votes on critical voting rights legislation that would have otherwise remained stalled. And thanks to them, Texas remains in the national spotlight -- and as Texas Republicans continue to throw our democracy in jeopardy, their anti-democratic attacks are facing the condemnation of the nation. Today, as our legislators continue their fight in our Capitol, I thank every single Texas Democratic lawmaker who has fought tirelessly in defense of our most basic constitutional right: the chance to make our voices heard at the ballot box.
“For months now, Texas Democrats have spoken with one voice, and our message is clear: we will do whatever it takes to protect our freedom to vote. Faced with yet another irregular special session from a governor who is willing to sell out our democracy for political gain, we will fight with everything we have in this special session to protect Texas voters and to push for real solutions to the most urgent issues facing Texas families. We knew that breaking quorum was one tool in our arsenal, and our legislators used it to fend off Republicans’ attacks. Now, some of our lawmakers are taking the fight back to our Capitol, while another delegation is staying in D.C. to continue to push for the federal legislation that will put an end to these attacks. We are continuing to fight with everything we have, on all fronts -- and we know the fight is still on.
“An attack on our right to vote is an attack on our communities and our future. We know it, and Texas Republicans know it. And they’re persisting in these attacks for one reason: Republicans like Greg Abbott know their days in power are numbered, and they’re trying to hold onto their jobs the only way they can -- by stopping us from voting. We deserve leaders who look like us, who will listen to us, and who will fight for us -- not sellouts who throw us under the bus any chance they get if it means they can make a buck from their elite donors. And the day that every single eligible Texas voter gets to the ballot box is the day we make that happen. The fight isn’t over. Texas Democrats are in it for the long haul. And we will not rest until the right to vote -- the one thing that makes us who we are as a country -- is finally, fully, and federally protected.”