In response to the return of their colleagues to the lower chamber, Texas Democrats spoke out against the decision that restored the special session quorum and will likely allow for the passage of the partisan voting bill the lawmakers sought to delay.
Over 30 Democrats signed a statement Friday in which they condemned their colleagues Garnet Coleman, Armando Walle and Ana Hernandez. Accusing the returning lawmakers of complicity, they also revealed that they had been blindsided by the decision.
“We are disappointed that a few Democrats chose to return to the floor. We feel betrayed and heartbroken but our resolve is strong and this fight is not over,” they wrote in the statement. “With their questionable quorum, Republicans are now fully enabled and empowered to enact virtually all of [Gov. Greg] Abbott’s directives, including many dangerous pieces of legislation that will fundamentally hurt the lives of Texans.”
The three arrived in the Capitol as a group, with Mr. Walle pushing Mr. Coleman, who has severe diabetes and underwent a lower leg amputation this spring, in a wheelchair. In a joint statement released Thursday, Coleman, Walle and Hernandez defended their decision to return to the state and emphasized the need to address the state’s COVID-19 response.
“We took the fight for voting rights to Washington, D.C. and brought national attention to the partisan push in our state to weaken ballot access. Our efforts were successful and served as the primary catalyst to push Congress to take action on federal voter protection legislation,” the statement read. “Now, we continue the fight on the House Floor.”
“COVID-19 is ravaging our state and overwhelming our health care system worse than at any other point during this pandemic,” the lawmakers continued. “It is time to move past these partisan legislative calls.”