Nothing says you’re standing up to the man for the little people like flying across the country on private jets; especially when due to vote on legislation. But alas, Democrats have their own way of “proving a point.”
Claiming to “defend Democracy” at least 58 Democratic members of the Texas state House of Representatives literally fled the state and flew to D.C. in order to shut down a special session and block Republican-backed bills from passing.
51 of the lawmakers flew on chartered planes, and at least 7 others were en route, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News. “Speaking to reporters at the airport Monday night, the lawmakers urged Congress to quickly pass federal legislation to protect voting rights and vowed to stay in Washington, D.C., through August to run out the clock on the session, which began Thursday” reported NBC News.
Under the Texas Constitution, the Legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers to be present in order to conduct state business in either chamber. The absent lawmakers can be “legally compelled to return to the Capitol” and they “risk arrest by taking flight.”
State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer said, “our democracy is on the line.” He continued, “it became very clear to us that this weekend that any attempts to negotiate some Democratic concessions were cut off, making it very clear that Republicans were hellbent on having it their way.”
Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott said the “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.” Yet, “as they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state.”
NBC adds many of the Democrats have families, medical issues or childcare obligations making the stunt difficult, as they “have to remain away through the end of the special session, which can last as long as 30 days under the state Constitution” in order to block the pending legislation.