Texas Democratic legislators travel to Washington, both to prevent the passage of restrictions on voting rights and to support national protections.
Of the 67 Texas House Democrats, 51 arrived at Dulles International Airport just before sunset. Several others arrived separately.
The journey prevents Texas Republicans from attaining a quorum and ramming through the restrictions in special session which ends in August.
State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, who organized the trip, said, “We have to decide if we are going to stand for democracy. We want the nation to join us and we want the US Senate to hear us and act.”
GOP State Representative Briscoe Cain, who chairs the House Elections Committee, insisted, “It’s just delaying the inevitable….We will eventually get it done, this special or another.”
Amid Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn last November’s election, falsely claiming fraudulent voting, Republican-controlled legislatures have pressed for the limits on voting rights. Florida and Georgia, where President Joe Biden and two Democratic US Senators won seats from Republicans, have passed measures.
In May, a late-night walkout by Democrats prevented completion of the Texas legislation. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Trump supporter, pledged to push through the bill in a special session.
In the US Senate, Republicans are blocking a final vote on the For The People Act through an indefinite filibuster. On June 22, all GOP Senators voted to continue the filibuster in a 50-50 outcome, short of the 60 Senators needed to end the blockade.
The Act expands voting rights, including mail-in ballots and early voting; changes campaign finance laws; limits partisan gerrymandering; and creates new ethics rules for federal officeholders
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia about the measures. The Texas Democrats will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. in Washington.
“I applaud them standing for the rights of all Americans and all Texans to express their voice through their vote unencumbered,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in Detroit on Monday.