Texas Republicans appeared poised Sunday night to pass a bill that critics say severely restricts voting rights. It then would have gone to Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) desk, but Democrats surprisingly broke quorum and walked out just before a midnight deadline. That left the state House without enough members present to cast a vote, effectively killing the bill for now. But Texas’ Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who is a proponent of the controversial bill, didn’t lash out at the opposition for the dramatic turn of events. Instead, he expressed frustration with Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) and House Republicans for taking days off near the end of the legislative session, The Texas Tribune reports.
“I can’t even blame it on the other party for walking out. They got an opportunity to walk out because of the deadline,” Patrick said, per the Tribune, later adding that “the clock ran out on the House because it was managed poorly. That’s the bottom line.”
Per the Tribune, Texas Reps. Bryan Slaton (R) and Jeff Cason (R) seemed to agree, noting that their fellow Republicans had months to pass the election bill, but waited until the last minute despite Democrats’ fierce opposition. “Democrats can only kill a bill that Republican leadership lets them kill,” Slaton wrote on Facebook, the Tribune notes.
It looks like the GOP will get another shot — Abbott has called for a special session, and the bill will be added to the agenda — so Sunday night’s events may have just delayed the inevitable, but Democrats are vowing to “continue to use every tool in our toolbox to slow [Republicans] down, to fight them, to stop them,” Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told the Tribune. Read more at The Texas Tribune.