The Texas Democrats who fled the state to avoid voting on new election integrity laws have taken flak and criticism from all sides.
Now they have a new problem: arrest warrants.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan signed 52 civil arrest warrants for the fleeing Texas Democrats, the Dallas Morning News first reported.
“I am hoping they will come because the warrants have been issued and they don’t want to be arrested,” State Rep. Jim Murphy said. “It is incredible to me that you have to arrest people to do the job they campaigned for, for which they took an oath of office to uphold the Texas constitution.”
Republican states around the country have passed a series of laws to shore up elections after controversy surrounding the last presidential election. Texas, though, has run into this unusual hiccup. The Dems took heat for their controversial decision, especially their skipping away to Europe and even asking for food donations.
Phelan has been critical of the Democrats for their decision, pointing out other priorities that lawmakers cannot address since they are gone.
“Today, the Texas House of Representatives gaveled out of Governor Abbott’s first called special session for the 87th Legislature,” he said last week. “While a bipartisan group of members honored their duty to their constituents and the legislative process by showing up day after day, the Texas House could not address important issues such as approving a 13th check for our retired teachers, improving our foster care system, and passing crucial legislation on bail reform and election integrity because a number of Democrats deliberately broke quorum. With a second special session beginning tomorrow, the Texas House remains committed to fulfilling its responsibilities as soon our Democratic colleagues return from Washington or from their vacations abroad.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also been hard on the Democrats. Whether they fall in line or refuse to comply remains to be seen.
“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,” Gov. Abbott said. “As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state. 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.”