As Texas Democrats live out the words of a Willie Nelson song, the country music legend is among those chipping in so that Democratic legislators who fled the state do not have to return to Texas, where a vote on election integrity awaits.
Nelson’s “On the Road Again” could serve as the soundtrack for the flight of Democrats, with these lyrics:
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way
Is on the road again.
Democrats who are determined to avoid having to sit in the legislative chamber while Republicans pass election reforms with which they disagree fled Texas on Monday as a tactic to deny the GOP the quorum needed to pass any legislation. A similar stunt in 2003 delayed but did not torpedo redistricting legislation.
Nelson and former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke are among those helping defray the costs of Texas Democratic legislators who are ensconced at the Washington Plaza Hotel in D.C., where they have vowed to suffer in four-star surroundings until the special session called by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott expires, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Texas Democrats have proven that the hill their party is willing to die on is election integrity.
Under no circumstances do they wish to allow free or fair elections – period.
If that doesn’t prove everything about how they get elected, I don’t know what will.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) July 14, 2021
O’Rourke is spearheading a fundraising effort to pay the bills of the Democrats who fled the state, which The Morning News estimated would top $10,000 a day just for the hotel bill.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the effort had pulled in $526,780 from 14,654 donors, the report said.
Nelson gave the Democrats $5,000.
The stunt has drawn lots of attention, but the long-term results are uncertain. Abbott has vowed to continue calling special sessions until the voting reforms Republicans have the votes to pass are approved.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says that when TX Democrats arrive back in the state, “they’ll be arrested and brought to the Capitol and we will pass these bills” pic.twitter.com/rrZSGeQWoA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 15, 2021
Democratic state Rep. Chris Turner, however, is hoping that somehow the federal government will side with the runaway-bride-like Democrats and prevent Texas from making its own laws.
“Our commitment is to kill the bill for this session and make the case to the U.S. Senate to embrace the House’s good work,” he said, according to The Morning News. “We’re not in any way suggesting that members are going to stay out of the state of Texas for the rest of the year, the next two years, obviously that’s not realistic.”
President Joe Biden has attacked the Texas election integrity bill as “un-American” and Vice President Kamala Harris has met with the Democrats, but it’s not clear what the federal government could do to intervene.
I got a message for you Texas Democrats.
Y’all are singing “We Will Overcome” like you’re oppressed or something… but you’re riding to DC in a private jet and cashing six figure checks.
There is no modern day Jim Crow.
There is no problem with Voter ID. Y’all need to go home! pic.twitter.com/LpYVtrjSi2
— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) July 15, 2021
On Day 3 of Texas Democrats’ vacation in DC abandoning their legislative duties, Republicans are turning the Democrats’ gambit into an advantage for the GOP in the 2022 election.
Republicans are working to pass laws to help Texans.
Democrats are hiding.https://t.co/LQaeaJLYwB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 15, 2021
“Once again, President Biden ignores the facts,” Abbott said Tuesday, according to Fox News. “The fact is that Texas is passing a law that expands — not reduces — the hours of early voting. That’s more than many states, including President Biden’s home state of Delaware, which has zero hours of early voting.”
The bill Democrats refuse to allow to pass will “uphold the integrity of our elections and ensure that Texas who do qualify to vote by mail will have the ability to do so,” the governor said.
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