For the second time this year, Democratic members of the Texas Legislature fled the state in protest of proposed election reforms so that the Texas House would be unable to conduct official business due to a lack of quorum. This time, they did so via party bus and private jet. The Federalist reported:
Texas Democrats throwing a tantrum over an election integrity bill are claiming their swift exit from the state on private jets was a “sacrifice” in their fight against “voter suppression” in the state.
“Just landed in Memphis on our way to DC. Thank y’all for your well wishes. We left behind our families, our livelihoods, & our beloved Texas. But our sacrifice is nothing compared to the sacrifices brave Americans have made throughout history to protect the sacred right to vote,” announced “proud progressive” state Rep. James Talarico on Twitter.
Talarico is one of the 50-plus Lone Star State Democrats who chose to flee the state on Monday evening in a last-ditch attempt to protest the GOP bill, which was reintroduced in a special session this week by Republicans who want more election security for mail-in ballots including voter ID.
Smiling House Dems fly off to DC on a private jet with a case of Miller Lite, breaking House quorum, abandoning their constituents, while the Senate still works. It’s my hope that Senate Dems report tomorrow to do what they were elected to do. We will vote on #SB1. #txlege pic.twitter.com/5Kcc4emNFg— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) July 12, 2021
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
Texas State Democrat Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer on chartering a private plane to DC instead of flying commercially: “everybody wants to see” us, so we “need to fly privately” pic.twitter.com/nwzWkkeN3m— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 13, 2021
It's ironic that the legislators "escaped" to Washington in protest of their state's voting laws. After all, the District of Columbia has fewer days of early voting than Texas.
“I’m sick of these lies.”— Republican State Leadership Committee (@RSLC) July 13, 2021
TX Lt. Gov. @DanPatrickTX calls out Dems’ hypocrisy on voting laws ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Uh6SjtWjsE
The Democrats argue that the walkout is for their constituents, but this political theater is not what Texans elected them to do. A poll recently conducted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation shows that Texans oppose utilizing procedural measures to prevent voting on legislation.
By a two to one margin, Texans oppose state legislators using procedural maneuvers to prevent voting. More than half of Texans (54%) said they do not support members staging walkouts that would deny the Legislature the quorum it needs in order to hold votes. Just 27% of Texans say they support the moves. . .
The walkouts are opposed most vigorously by self-identified Republicans (68% to 16%) and conservatives (67% to 17%), but also by Independents (53% to 24%) and moderates (44% to 35%). More than a third of Democrats oppose the walkout (35%) and exactly half support it. Forty-three percent of Hispanics oppose abusing the rules, while 34% support it. African-Americans are split, with 45% in support to 42% opposed.
National Democrat leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Vice President Kamala Harris, have indicated that they support the Texas Democrats' procedural stunt. That's interesting considering they have called for changes to the legislative filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
Does this mean @chuckschumer supports filibusters now? https://t.co/8qPHgqy1sE— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) July 13, 2021
Vice President Harris praised democratic state lawmakers in Texas who are planning to leave the state to stop the Republicans' elections bill. https://t.co/VIC13lLEnk pic.twitter.com/DHhINuJ83G— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 13, 2021
Americans will see how ludicrous the Democrats' claims about Texas' proposed reforms are. All they have to do is read the bill for themselves.
This is absolutely correct. @DanCrenshawTX has actually read the Texas bills. Everyone should do the same. https://t.co/iIzgaHGRBi— Chad Ennis (@ChadEnnisTX) July 13, 2021
What examples do Texas Democrats have of actual “voter suppression” in the Texas election reform bills?— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) July 13, 2021
The answers are about what you’d expect. pic.twitter.com/ePwC5fKyEz