Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced another special session of the state Legislature would convene on Saturday to urge Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., to return to vote on election rights reform.
“The Texas Legislature achieved a great deal during the 87th Legislative Session, and they have a responsibility to finish the work that was started,” Abbott said in a statement.
“I will continue to call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, and pass other important items that Texans demand and deserve. Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State,” he added.
The second special session agenda is slated to include 17 items, ranging from bail reform to youth sports. Election integrity, the second topic on the list, includes “[l]egislation strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.”
The New York Times reported, “Abbott will also call state lawmakers to address his veto of funding for the Legislature, which has put the salaries and benefits of hundreds of staff members who work in the Statehouse in jeopardy.”
“Mr. Abbott vetoed the funding this year as a punishment for the Democrats’ late-night walkout of the original legislative session to prevent a voting bill from passing,” the Times added.
“As we approach the end of the first ‘Suppression Session’ and there’s a threat of a second, we will put all our options on the table again — the same options we used in May, the same options we used in July. Nothing has changed in our calculus. We have options, we can use them, and by now, Republicans know that we mean what we say,” said state Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, according to The Washington Post.
Despite Texas Democrats pleading about their “sacrifice” for freedom, on Wednesday two Texas Democrats who had fled to Washington, D.C., were reportedly on vacation in Portugal.
Now the poor refugee lawmakers will be forced to return to the Lone Star State or face loss of salary and possibly arrest upon return. Abbott has tweeted he plans to continue calling special sessions until Democrats come back to work.
Abbott has exploded the myth of the hard working Democrats, highlighting they are hardly working instead. Governing leaders don’t leave the state when issues are tough, even if they can’t get the results they want. But don’t tell that to Democrats. They received a warm welcome in D.C. from the party elite, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
The governor is playing the long game on this one, knowing Democrats can only stay away for so long. When they return, there will be a judgment day of some sort, but it’s unclear whether the Biden administration will swoop in with a rescue or Abbott will receive a reward for calling the bluff of the Democrats.