WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Stage legislators from across the country, including Texas, are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass a voting rights bill before it goes on recess or delay the recess until it's passed.
Many Texas Democrats broke quorum and are still in Washington, D.C., encouraging the passage of the For the People Act in response to controversial election reform bills moving through the Texas Legislature.
State Democratic Rep. Gina Hinojosa, who represents Austin, said it is essential the Senate “take action now to protect the rights of Americans to vote” during a press call Thursday.
“Our democracy is at stake, and we just ... we need Congress, we need the president to meet us at the moment and help us fight off this assault on our freedom to vote,” Hinojosa said.
The Democrats left Texas for Washington, D.C., to stop the passage of controversial voting rights bills Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3 during the legislature’s special session. There are only two days left in the special session and four days left before the Senate’s scheduled recess.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called a second special session Thursday, Aug. 5, in response to the Democrats breaking quorum. Hinojosa said the Texas Democrat’s strategy regarding this second session “must be kept secret.”
“The thing about fighting as a minority party, the majority Republican party in Texas is that frequently our strategy must be kept secret,” Hinojosa said. “So, while I would love to share with all what we intend to do, unfortunately, it would disadvantage our position.”
Abbott’s agenda for the second special session includes “Legislation strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.” It is set to start Saturday, Aug. 7.
“This is not just a Texas fight, but in fact, this is part of a national strategy by the Republican Party to make it harder for people to vote,” Hinojosa said. “This is an attack on multiracial democracy, and so we need a federal response.”
Democratic Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani and Democratic Arizona Rep. Sally Gonzales also spoke at the press call. Legislators from Arizona, Georgia and Florida came to D.C. to “stand in solidarity” with the Texas Democrats and pressure the Senate to pass the For the People Act.
“Such an inspiration,” Eskamani said when referencing the Texas House Democrats breaking quorum. “I mean, candidly, we’re also the minority in Florida. We don’t necessarily have enough to break quorum, but I’ll tell you, when you’re in the minority, your tools are limited.
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