The Democrats vowed to continue to fight a Texas law that would increase the election restrictions as Republican governor. Greg Abbott threatened to cut funding for the legislature if they did.
“I am going to veto Article 10 of the Legislative Budget. Article 10 finances the legislature,” Abbott said tweeted Monday. “No payment for those who give up their responsibilities. Stay tuned.”
The Texas Democrats used every parliamentary tool at their disposal on Sunday night to stop the law and eventually went out to prevent a vote before the midnight deadline. Abbott said the bill would be added to a special session agenda to adopt them. He did not give a date for the special session.
Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he and his colleagues in the State House would continue their fight, and he urged Congress to pass laws at the national level that would protect voting.
“We will fight him at every step, we will fight the Republicans at every step and we will do everything we can to keep stopping, slowing and toning this legislation.” Turner said Monday on CNN.
Democrats across the country backed efforts to block the bill when Texas was set to be the next battleground for voting rights. President Joe Biden said over the weekend the bill was an “attack on democracy”.
Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate who led her state’s push for access to voting rights, tweeted: “Congratulations to the Texas Democrats, Activists, and Supporters for protecting freedom of choice until the last hour to defeat Jim Crow 2.0 # SB7 law. That happens when we fight.”
Texas law, known as Senate Bill 7, was passed by the Senate early Sunday after a nightly debate on a partisan basis. The bill was submitted to the House of Representatives for final approval on Sunday evening. But after hours of debate and delaying tactics, the chamber adjourned after Democratic lawmakers went in protest, broke a quorum and ended the debate. At least 100 lawmakers must be in attendance to do business.
The comprehensive bill would limit voting times, make postal voting more difficult and strengthen partisan election observers. The final version would also maintain the elimination of 24-hour polling stations and drive-through polling stations, both of which were introduced last year in a record-high election in Harris County, the state’s largest Democratic stronghold.
The bill would also prohibit voting on Sunday before 1 p.m. Critics said this was an attack on what is commonly known as “souls for the election” – an election campaign run by black parishes across the country. The idea goes back to the civil rights movement. Democratic State MP Nicole Collier, chairman of the Texas Legislature Black Caucus, said the change would “disenfranchise and disenfranchise those who use the soul-polling facility.”
Items were hatched behind closed doors, and Democrats have argued that they were largely left in the dark as last-minute changes and entirely new regulations were pushed through.