Over 50 quorum-breaking Texas House Democrats escaped to Washington D.C. to plead for federal voting legislation. There they met with President Bill and Secretary Hillary Clinton along with voting rights activist Stacey Abrams on Thursday via Zoom, according to NBC News.
At a high-profile House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday, three of the Texas legislators claimed that their state voting laws would “disproportionately affect people of color.” Locally well-known Texas Representative Senfronia Thompson told of her own experience. Her grandparents had to save “pennies and nickels” to pay a poll tax, and she had to pay one, too the first time she went to the polls:
‘I’m hoping that I don’t have to keep fighting this fight, that my grandchildren — my grandchildren’s children — will not have to keep repeating these struggles.’
Representative Scott Franklin (R-FL) later made an ugly slur, calling them “a bunch of spoiled cowards:”
‘You’re damn right I left Texas, and I’m glad I did. People who I represent have a right to be able to vote unabridged, just like all of you.’
Texas Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (R-TX) is one of six of the fully vaccinated Texas Democrats recovering from Covid-19:
‘This is the kind of the stretch of the calendar when you start missing your family the most, you’ve been away from your job now for a couple weeks, things are starting to mount up. To me, it just sort of reaffirms that this fight is a fight worth having.’
‘With infrastructure going to a cloture vote … it creates a lane, at least opens up some space, to get voting rights back in the narrative. This is an opportunity for all voting rights advocates to seize this opportunity now, to make this final push.’
State Representative Ron Reynolds commented on the Clintons:
‘They both have so much wise counsel that they can provide for us. We’re hoping they can use their influence, as well. We’re going to ask them, if they haven’t already if they would personally call Sen. Sinema and Sen. Manchin.’
President Clinton pointed out the Texas Democrats were affecting the national impact:
‘What Texas Democrats are standing up against goes far beyond their own state — it is part of a much wider effort by Republicans nationwide to make it harder to cast a vote and have it counted, because they know they can’t win when the electorate matches America in its full diversity.’
‘Hillary and I are inspired by the Texas Democrats and hope they will keep making what our dear friend John Lewis called “good trouble.”‘
Mrs. Clinton continued in a statement, according to The Politico:
‘The fight to protect our voting rights is the fight to protect our democracy, so we stand with them and applaud their ongoing efforts to ensure our citizens have access to the ballot box.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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