You don’t mess with Texas, as they say, and you certainly don’t mess with the Texas governor in 2021.
The Lone Star State has been the site of a brutal legislative battle over voting rights in recent weeks, with the GOP looking to tighten up the electoral process after the 2020 election. Democrats say the move is designed to disenfranchise voters who lean to the left, which has only exacerbated the conflict between the two sides.
Now that Democratic lawmakers have fled Texas in an effort to thwart the passage of the bill, Governor Greg Abbott is preparing to have them arrested upon their return.
Abbott appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday to defend the bill and say the missing lawmakers will be arrested upon their return to the state. He said members of the Texas House of Representatives who are still in the state can call for the arrests of their colleagues who do not show up to vote. The one caveat is the arrest has to be made in the state.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” he said.
Republicans argue the contentious bill would provide greater election security, while Democrats charge it would suppress voter turnout of minorities.
The exodus was the second time that Democratic lawmakers have staged a walkout on the voting overhaul, a measure of their fierce opposition to proposals they say will make it harder for young people, people of color and people with disabilities to vote.
The Democrats do not have the support needed to actually prevent the bill from coming to fruition, and have relied on these absentee stunts in order to stymy the political process.