Texas Governor Cranks Up Pressure on Runaway Democrats by Calling Special Legislative Session

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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced another special session of the state Legislature would convene on Aug. 7, 2021, to urge Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., to return to vote on election rights reform.

“The Texas Legislature achieved a great deal during the 87th Legislative Session, and they have a responsibility to finish the work that was started,” Abbott said in a statement.

“I will continue to call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, and pass other important items that Texans demand and deserve. Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State,” he added.

The second special session agenda is slated to include 17 items, ranging from bail reform to youth sports. Election integrity, the second topic on the list, includes “[l]egislation strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.”

Abbott also posted the information to Twitter on Thursday, writing, “I’m convening a second special session on 8/7.”

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“The #txlege must finish the work that was started,” he added.

“I’ll call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, & pass other items Texans demand & deserve.”

The New York Times reported, “Abbott will also call state lawmakers to address his veto of funding for the Legislature, which has put the salaries and benefits of hundreds of staff members who work in the Statehouse in jeopardy.”

Should Abbott continue to call special sessions until Texas Democrats return?

“Mr. Abbott vetoed the funding this year as a punishment for the Democrats’ late-night walkout of the original legislative session to prevent a voting bill from passing,” the Times added.

“As we approach the end of the first ‘Suppression Session’ and there’s a threat of a second, we will put all our options on the table again — the same options we used in May, the same options we used in July. Nothing has changed in our calculus. We have options, we can use them, and by now, Republicans know that we mean what we say,” said state Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, according to The Washington Post.

Fellow state Democratic Rep. Gina Hinojosa added that breaking quorum is “definitely a tool in our toolbox.”

“It depends what Congress does here,” she said. “There’s talk of postponing the recess. I think they should. We’re not on vacation. We’re working around-the-clock here.”

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On Wednesday, however, two Texas Democrats who had fled to Washington, D.C., to escape a vote on election reform were reportedly on vacation in Portugal.

Texas Monthly reporter Jonathan Tilove first confirmed the report, tweeting the news Tuesday.

“Hi. Covering the TXDEMS in DC for @TexasMonthly,” he wrote.

“Can confirm @juliejohnsonTX and her wife & @jessicafortexas and her fiancé are in Portugal for a vacation they had been planning, with non-refundable tickets, for a year-and-a-half. Still participating in caucus meetings via ZOOM,” he added.





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