The biggest blow on democracy in decades came last Friday when the Texas House passed a new voting restriction bill, aimed at limiting voting access to minorities in the state.
Gov. Abbott finally achieved his objective. After over four months of struggle at the House and the Senate, a historic walkout by Democrats and also the Democrats fleeing Texas to deny Republicans the quorum they needed, the Texas House of Representatives passed a brutal voting restriction bill.
Before being forwarded to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, the House version of the bill, which passed on a virtually party-line vote of 80 to 41, will be examined by the State Senate.
This bill was a major objective of Gov. Abbott, who had promised to continue calling special legislative sessions until the bill was sent to him. Eventually, some Democrats returned to Austin, ending a 38-day walkout allowing the House to get enough quorum for the bill to pass.
Black and Latino Texans are the two most harmed groups with this bill, who would be disproportionately harmed. Eventually, the efforts made by Texas Democrats were not enough to stop the GOP’s attack on one of America’s most fundamental principles: Democracy.
This most likely puts an end to the drama that began in late May, when Democratic House members fled the chamber in the last hours of the regular session to prevent Republicans from enacting a similar bill.
More than 50 House Democrats, driven by their progressive leaders, booked two charter flights from Austin to Washington after an enraged Mr. Abbott announced a special session to begin in early July. This led to a failed first special legislative session and prevented the GOP from passing voting restricting acts.
After arriving as heroes in Washington, the Texas House Democrats met with Vice President Kamala Harris and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III, a key vote in the campaign to enact Democrats’ federal voting laws.
Some State House Democrats began returning to the State Capitol towards the end of last week, bringing the walkout to a close and allowing the chamber’s business to continue. With this, Gov. Abbott was finally able to strike down voting rights in Texas, passing one of the most anti-democratic bills in the history of the United States. Now, it is the turn for the Senate to confirm this blow on Democracy, and to begin a new, dark, chapter for elections in Texas.