As Senators Manchin and Sinema sit around defending the rights of senators to filibuster, the Democrats of the Texas Legislature high-tailed their, uh, tails out of Texas for 30 days to prevent Gov. Abbott from attacking voting rights during a special session:
“…Some of the lawmakers are flying to Washington to meet with members of Congress and urge them to pass federal voting-rights legislation. “We have a full working week of member dialogue. We will be meeting with congressional leaders, civil rights activists, voting rights activists,” state Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer told POLITICO on a call from the tarmac, minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off.
“We are living on borrowed time in Texas,” the caucus leaders’ statement said, adding that they hoped Congress would pass two bills proposed by Democrats to “to protect Texans — and all Americans — from the Trump Republicans’ nationwide war on democracy.”
At a brief press conference after getting off their plane outside of Washington, several of the Democrats urged the Senate to act.
“We are determined to kill this bill in this special session, which will end on Aug. 7,” state Rep. Chris Turner, the chair of the state House Democratic caucus, said at the Monday evening press conference. “And we will stay out until then in order to do that.”
Here’s the dealio: the Texas Leg is a part-time gig and these representatives have families and jobs back home; this act is personal hardship for them. Abbott can wait them out and call another session, too.
The Texas Leg Democrats fleeing to DC is an object-lesson for Manchin and Sinema , to pressure them to do something—anything—to protect voting rights, and make no mistake about it, the other side is noticing: