THE NEW YORK TIMES — The battle among Texas lawmakers over a bill that would impose some of the strictest limits in the nation on voting access escalated Monday as Democrats and Republicans vowed that they would not back down over a highly charged issue that has galvanized both parties.
Stung by the last-minute setback for one of the G.O.P.’s top legislative priorities, after Democrats killed the measure with a dramatic walkout Sunday night, Gov. Greg Abbott suggested he would withhold pay from lawmakers because of their failure to pass the bill.
“No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Mr. Abbott, a Republican who strongly supported the bill, wrote on Twitter as he pledged to veto the section of the budget that funds the legislative branch.
G.O.P. leaders said they would revive their efforts in a special session of the Legislature. The bill’s chief architect in the State House of Representatives, Briscoe Cain, said the walkout might enable Republicans to craft a measure even more to their liking.
“At the end of the day, this turned out to be a good thing,” said Mr. Cain, the chair of the House Elections Committee. “We’ll come back with better legislation and more time for it. Special sessions are focused.”
Democrats were resolute in their opposition, promising to redouble their efforts to keep a new bill from becoming law.
“This is Texas, this is the Alamo,” State Representative John H. Bucy III said at an afternoon news conference on Monday. “We will do everything we can to stop voter suppression.’’
Editor’s Note: The above news story was written for The New York Times by reporters Dave Montgomery and Nick Corasaniti. Click here to read the full story.
State Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby’ Guerra, D-McAllen, has made clear his opposition to SB 7. Guerra was one of five Texas House Democrats who did not walk out of the House chamber to break quorum. The other four were Reps. Harold Dutton of Houston, Richard Peña Raymond of Laredo, Tracy O. King of Batesville, and Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City.
“SB7, the horrendous voter discrimination bill, is dead. That’s a good thing. My parents had to pay a poll tax to vote. I keep their receipts as a reminder of the discrimination they faced and of why I fight for every voter’s right to lift up their voice at the ballot box,” Guerra posted on Facebook.
State Rep. Alex Dominguez, D-Brownsville, did walk out of the House Chamber on Sunday to break quorum, effectively killing SB 7.
“I joined my Texas House Democratic Caucus colleagues to break quorum tonight. The latest iteration of SB 7 was a vastly changed version that added failed legislation that neither House Democrats nor Republicans had seen or agreed to. I’ll fight for your right to vote every day and twice on Sunday,” Domionguez posted on Facebook.
In an earlier posting on Facebook, Dominguez wrote: “Someone asked me about what does SB7 do. It’s not a voter fraud bill. Period. Straight up, it’s a voter limitation and suppression bill. Some parts of it will not affect Cameron County that much, but will affect large counties like Harris County which expanded early voting hours and opportunities for all people to vote. The current version includes a bunch of brand new amendments from bills that failed that we are barely seeing for the first time.”
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clips shows state Rep. Nicole Collier, the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, speaking with other Democrats against Senate Bill 7 at the Capitol in Austin on Sunday. (Photo: Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press)
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