Texas Gov. Orders New Special Session To Pass Restrictive Voting Bill

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a 3rd try at passing a GOP voting invoice on Thursday, calling one other particular legislative session to start this weekend as Democrats who left the state weeks in the past in protest nonetheless stay in Washington.

The announcement was anticipated and comes as greater than 50 Democrats — who scrambled to fly out of Texas on July 12 — had been on the cusp of operating out the clock on the present particular session and torpedoing the sweeping voting package deal for a second time since May.

“I will continue to call special session after special session,” Abbott stated.

He ordered the brand new 30-day particular session to start Saturday and made a brand new elections package deal one in all 17 objects he instructed the GOP-Legislature to think about, which incorporates different objects sought by conservative activists, together with new border safety measures and rules over how race is taught in public faculty.

The cross-country exodus marked the second time that Democratic lawmakers staged a walkout on the voting overhaul, which they are saying would make it tougher for younger individuals, individuals of shade and folks with disabilities to vote. But like the primary effort in May, there stays no clear path for Democrats to completely block the voting measures, or a listing of different contentious GOP-backed proposals up for debate.

Abbott, who’s up for reelection in 2022, made the choice to start a brand new session instantly, as Democrats in Washington had been weighing their subsequent steps. They left Texas beneath the specter of arrest for breaking quorum within the state House of Representatives and haven’t dedicated to when — or whether or not — they deliberate to return home.

Some Democrats this week stated they don’t have any intention to return to the Texas Capitol even after they’ve returned from Washington.

“A vast majority, enough to break quorum, have committed to each other to not be in the Capitol when the second called session happens,” Democratic state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez stated Wednesday.

In selecting to hunker down in Washington, Texas Democrats sought to place stress on President Joe Biden and Congress to go new federal voting rights laws that might blunt the affect of the GOP invoice again home. A bunch of key Democratic senators, together with West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, met Wednesday in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s workplace to debate a compromise on voting laws.

The group has been working for weeks with their counterparts within the U.S. House to develop a narrower approach. But even with a retooled invoice, they’d nonetheless face the identical problem as earlier than: a filibuster by Senate Republicans, who overwhelmingly oppose the measure. Overcoming that hurdle would require modifications to Senate procedural rules, which many reasonable Democrats oppose — denying the celebration the votes to alter the rule.

Associated Press author Brian Slodysko in Washington contributed to this report.

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