The Texas Senate has approved a controversial restrictive voting legislation after Democratic lawmakers in the state House fled to Washington to evade passage of the bill in the lower chamber.
The bill, passed by a party-line vote of 18-4, includes restrictions on absentee voting and forbids drive-through voting, which many believe were the Democrats’ trump card in the 2020 presidential elections.
This came a day after 51 Democrats in the state’s lower house decamped to Washington to block passage of the bill by preventing a quorum that is necessary for a special session. They signaled that they would remain in Washington until the special session ends.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, however, has threatened that the Democrats will face serious consequences when they return to the state.
“If these people want to be hanging out wherever they're hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they're going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year,” Abbott said on Monday.
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” he added.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden lambasted efforts by former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies to sow doubt about the election months after it concluded
“The big lie is just that. A big lie,” Biden said. “If you lose, you accept the results. You don’t call facts fake and try to bring down the American experiment just because you’re unhappy. That’s not statesmanship. That’s selfishness.”
He also described the ongoing attacks on election integrity as an existential threat to democracy.
“We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War,” Biden added. “I’m not saying this to alarm you, I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.”