Texas Democrats Arrive In Washington While Governor Abbott Threatens Arrest

More than 50 Texas House Democrats boarded two private charter planes and arrived in Washington Monday night in an attempt to deny Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans an opportunity to deny voting rights.

The Texas Dems say the way out is for the U.S. Congress to pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to protect Texans and all Americans from the Trump Republicans war on democracy. While the House has already passed voting rights bills, the plan is to lobby the Senate over the coming weeks while avoiding the special session in Texas through August 7.

“We left Texas, not because we want to,” state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington and chair of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters in the Dulles parking lot. “It breaks our heart to do it. We are in a fight to save our democracy.”

In response Abbott told an Austin television station he would simply keep calling special sessions of the legislature through next year if necessary, and raised the possibility of Democrats facing arrest upon returning home.

“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas capitol until they get their job done,” Abbott said.

The Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner confirmed that the $100,000 flight was paid for by the Caucus.

Austin American-Statesman, The Guardian