HOUSTON — The Texas Senate managed to approve the top issue on the special session agenda.
“We are angry,” said Republican state Sen. Joan Huffman of Houston during a Wednesday morning news conference. “We are angry because we have come here to work, we have an important job to do.”
She and others criticized dozens of Democrats who left Monday for Washington, D.C. in order to block votes on the voting measures and simultaneously lobby federal leaders for election protections.
“I think it’s important that people know what’s in the bill,” said Republican state Sen. Larry Taylor of Friendswood. “I think it’s unfortunate people left the state.” “They might have spent some time on the bus and the plane reading the bill and maybe they would have come back.”
Republicans contend that what the Senate passed would make it easier to vote yet harder to cheat.
Early voting hours would actually expand.
But things like drive-through and 24-hour voting, which were implemented in Harris County, would be banned.
“Out of the millions and millions and millions of people that live in Texas, we have less than 0.1% of voter fraud,” said Democratic state Rep. Shawn Thierry of Houston. “So we know this isn’t a real issue.”
Thierry joined her colleagues in D.C. a day late and after House Republicans voted to send state troopers after them.
“This is politics and we need to put people over politics,” said Thierry.
Senate Republicans said those who flew out of state are the ones who’ve thrown a wrench in the system.
“I hope they think it’s worth it,” said Huffman.
Republicans say Democrats are also holding up other items on the special session agenda, including bail reform.