(FiveNation.com)- While Texas Democrats take a ridiculous trip to Washington, D.C., to avoid having to weigh in on tighter state voting laws, Republicans keep going to work in their home state, waiting for them to return.
Republicans were prepared to move their state even further to the right during the legislative session this summer. And while they aren’t able to officially do anything with Democrats out of the state, the GOP is still showing up for work every day.
Democrats have said they left the state in protest of the GOP’s proposal to pass more restrictive voting rights. However, by leaving the state capitol, they’re also blocking measures that are widely popular among the state’s residents, such as giving teachers more money and lowering property taxes.
Liberals will have to return to Texas at some point, of course, and Republicans are still promising to introduce and pass tighter voting laws when they do. Democrats say the bills suppress participation by minority groups, but Republicans argue they bolster the integrity of elections.
As Dade Phelan, the state Republican House Speaker, said:
“While these Texas Democrats collect taxpayer money as they ride on private jets to meet with the Washington elite, those who remain in the chamber await their return to begin work on providing our retired teachers a 13th check, protecting our foster kids and providing taxpayer relief.”
While they’ve been spending time in the nation’s capital, the Texas Democrats are trying to press members of Congress to pass a national voting rights bill that would help them in their efforts locally. They aren’t seeming to get much support on that front yet.
The Democrats aren’t being completely welcome with open arms in Washington, though. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, chastised them during a floor speech Wednesday. He said the flight the Democrats took to Washington was an effort to “snap selfies, bask in the limelight and beg Senate Democrats to take over Texas’ elections.”
“State legislators from Texas decided to grab some beer, hop on a private jet and flee the state in what they are pretending is some great moral crusade. The outrage is completely phony.”
Protesters have also gathered outside the Washington hotel where the Texas Democrats are staying after they chartered their flights to D.C. Recently, they were holding signs that read “Who paid for the private jet?” and “Do your job!”
The liberals have said they either paid for the trip from their own funds or through donations, insisting that no taxpayer funds were used to help them avoid doing their job.
This marks the second time Texas Democrats have left the state in a walkout because of the Republicans’ voting bill. They argue that if the bill were passed, it will be harder for people with disabilities, people of color and young people to vote.
Among the things included in bill are banning drop boxes for mail-in ballots and outlawing polling places that are open 24 hours a day.