Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he will veto the part of the state budget that funds the legislature, seeming retaliation for Texas Democrats’ walkout late Sunday that let them at least temporarily kill Republicans’ voting overhaul.
“No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Abbott tweeted.
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Democratic lawmakers slowly trickled out as the last day of the session inched towards midnight, all the remaining ones leaving around 10:30 p.m. local time, according to the Texas Tribune. They congregated at a nearby Baptist church, successfully running out the clock as their absence deprived the House of having the quorum needed to vote.
Abbott has called for the legislation to be passed in a special session.
Statement on election integrity and bail reform legislation: pic.twitter.com/rcK1Q3AnsH
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) May 31, 2021
“Whether it’s in a regular session or a special session, we will be here and we will fight,” said state Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) during a Monday press conference of Democratic state lawmakers.
Some Democrats, including former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), have used the temporary reprieve from the sweeping voting law overhaul — that would curtail early voting hours and add restrictions to voting by mail — to re-up calls for the U.S. Senate to eliminate the filibuster and pass voting rights safeguards.
“When Democrats stand up and fight, we win,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “Texas House Democrats — in the minority — proved that when they defeated a voter suppression bill last night. U.S. Senate Democrats — who are in the majority! — must stick together for our democracy and pass the For the People Act.”
House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will bring the For the People Act to the floor the week of June 21, he said last week. Currently, the bill seems unlikely to become law given the 60-vote threshold to break the filibuster and lack of Republican support. Anti-filibuster activists are hoping that the legislation puts pressure on Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to gut the filibuster and clear the path for the democracy reforms.