Texas Democrats have outdone themselves once again and have started asking for donations of Dr. Pepper, hair spray, salsa, and other goods to send in care packages to the lawmakers who fled their state. The Dallas Democrats Twitter page wrote that they’d be accepting donations of hard candy, toiletries, or even money to pay for shipping. Response to the tweets has been anything but supportive.
Users pointed out that these Democrats are grown adults who fled to Washington, DC because they refuse to do their taxpayer-funded jobs. They’ve been staying at a $189/night luxury hotel with a private pool and lounge area. Pretty sure most of these necessities can be obtained in DC area stores (where’d they’d probably appreciate the business) and paid for by lawmakers who can afford a charter jet to DC.
Political commentator Clay Travis wrote that lawmakers are surrounded by plenty of stores and can buy whatever they want. He added that it was “pathetic” for them to be asking for care package donations in DC when they abandoned Texas in the first place. Even Sen. Ted Cruz mocked the social media post and asked “No Miller Lite?” In reference to the case of beer in photographs legislators posted on their way to Washington.
The podcast ‘Comfortably Smug’ tweeted that the Texas Democrats will have their “basic needs met” when they get back to Texas and get sent to jail. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also warned the Texas Dems that once they return to the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol.
Rep. Philip Cortez was one of the first Democrats to return to Texas and try to engage in “good faith dialogue” with Republicans about the bill, which received massive blowbacks from his colleagues. They said he made the decision to rejoin Republicans in Texas without speaking to the Dem delegation. Lawmakers found it “disheartening” that Cortez values a gavel over protecting the voting rights of all Texans, but Cortez argued discussions on improving House Bill 3. He even flew back to D.C to rejoin his Democratic colleagues and do “whatever it takes” to fight for the freedom to vote.
Speaker Dade Phelan issued a civil arrest warrant for Cortez after flying back to D.C and asked that he returned to the Texas Capitol to work on policies and find issues to bring back to Texas colleagues. Cortez is the first one to be issued a warrant that is signed by the speaker about the 50 House Democrats that left the state.
“To the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives…or any officer appointed by him. You are hereby commanded to take The Honorable Philip Cortez, a member of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, who is now absent from the House, wherever said member may be found in the State into your custody and safekeeping and bring said member before the bar of the House,” the order reads.
Phelan writes that Rep. Cortez promised his House colleagues he would return and, instead, fled the state and broke the trust of the chamber. While the end date of the first special voting session is August 6, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would continue to call special sessions until the legislation is passed.
Rep. Jim Murphy, who chairs the House GOP Caucus in Houston, said he hopes Cortez will return again but that they’ve already voted overwhelmingly on a “call of the House” in an effort to regain quorum. Part of that effort includes sending law enforcement after the Democrats, even though it is out of their jurisdiction to do anything.