Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Monday vowed to arrest Democratic lawmakers who left the state earlier that day to deny Republicans a quorum to convene a special legislative session in order to pass a sweeping voter suppression bill.
“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. 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,” Abbott told local station KVUE.
He added that the Speaker of the state House can also “issue a call to have these members arrested.”
The governor went onto say that he “can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year” in order to fix election laws to favor Republicans.
A majority of Texas House Democrats fled the state on a charter flight bound for Washington, D.C., on Monday in an effort to stop the passage of a measure that would restrict voting access, in addition to other controversial priorities backed by Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), during a special legislative session.
Democrats carried out a similar effort in May, staging a walkout from the state House floor late one night to block the passage of the state elections procedures bill.