Texas House Democrats break quorum

Published 4:20 pm Monday, July 12, 2021

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement after the Texas House Democrats abandoned their responsibilities as legislators by breaking quorum and leaving the state:

“Texas Democrats’ decision to break a quorum of the Texas Legislature and abandon the Texas State Capitol inflicts harm on the very Texans who elected them to serve. As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state.

Issues like

  • property tax relief,
  • funding to support Sheriffs and law enforcement in high crime areas,
  • funding for children in foster care, and,
  • funding for retired teachers.

The Democrats must put aside partisan political games and get back to the job they were elected to do. Their constituents must not be denied these important resources simply because their elected representative refused to show up to work.”

Over 50 Democratic lawmakers have left Texas, denying the legislature a quorum and grinding these measures to a halt.

In what is already the most restrictive state for voting rights in the country, anti-voter lawmakers have tried repeatedly to restrict access to the ballot even further, largely for political gain. Measures under consideration would dramatically reduce early voting hours, ban drive-thru voting, impose new restrictions on naturalized citizens and grant special protections for partisan poll watchers.

“To protect the right to vote for all Texans—particularly for our community members who experience marginalization on a daily basis—Democratic legislators were left with no other option but to break quorum and stage a walkout the likes of which Texas hasn’t witnessed since 2003,” Texas for All Coalition Director Sissi Yado said. “We’ve been on the frontlines for months organizing, mobilizing and empowering voting and civil rights advocates to speak out in opposition to these bills and make clear that Texans won’t stand idly by as power-hungry pseudo-autocrats attempt to erode away at democracy by stripping us of the fundamental right to vote. Voter suppression bills have no place in our state and no place in our democracy.”

 “For Texans across our great state, for the hundreds of voters who signed up to testify against the restrictive legislation and for the advocates who fought relentlessly, thanklessly and tirelessly to protect every eligible voter’s access to the ballot box, today is a historic day for voting rights,” Yado said. ‘As our legislators touch down in D.C., we’ll continue standing in support of them—they had our backs, now we have theirs.”