(USA Features) GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday vowed to have Democrats who fled a special session to deprive the state legislature of a quorum earlier in the day arrested.
Abbott’s pledge came as at least 58 state Democrats hopped chartered flights to Washington, D.C., Monday afternoon ahead of the expected passage of a Republican-backed bill said to tighten election integrity laws. Democrats argue the bill will deny minorities voting rights by making it too difficult to cast ballots, a claim Republicans and Abbott flatly reject.
“What the law is, it’s in the [Texas state] Constitution, and that is the House, the State House of Representatives who were here in the Capitol in Austin right now, they do have the ability to issue a call to have their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested, but only so long as that arrest is made in the state of Texas,” Abbott told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Monday evening.
“That’s why they have fled the state. Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol, and we will be conducting business,” he added.
Earlier, Abbott called the Democratic stunt “the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard.”
“It’s really the worst thing you can say about a Texan: They’re so afraid they’re running away from a fight that they were hired by their voters to do,” he said.
“They were hired by the voters to go to the Capitol and articulate what their opinion was,” he continued.
Abbott also hit Democrats for hypocrisy by saying they actually engaged in a filibuster-like stunt by going to D.C. in part to push Democratic senators to alter the chamber’s filibuster rule so they can pass a nationwide election reform bill Republicans say will eliminate all voter integrity protections.
Nevertheless, Abbott predicted that the tactic would eventually fail because he has the authority to continue calling for special sessions.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days, and the governor calls them and I will continue calling special session after special session, because over time it’s going to continue until they step up to vote,” he pledged.
U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne, a Texas Republican, blasted state Democrats as well.
“I’m looking at them surrendering Texas to D.C. in our election, because they don’t want to do their job,” she told Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria.”
“To not do your job, to take off and hide behind (President Joe) Biden or Vice President (Kamala) Harris up in D.C., it’s a dereliction of duty,” Van Duyne added.
“They are completely ignoring their responsibilities and their promise and commitment to their voters and their constituents.”