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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Texas Two Step - Governor Abbott Calls Democrats Bluff

It remains to be seen who will have the last dance.


With all of the controversy surrounding the border, Governor Abbott has also been dealing with his Democrat partners in his state legislature. After a walk-out during a legislative session in May, where Democrats left the building to defeat Senate Bill 7, they effectively stopped the required 100 member participation for the quorum. Abbott promised there would be retribution. The bill dealt with voting laws, hour and poll watchers. Abbott explained that walking off the chamber floor is not the way that Texans do business.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) vetoed funding for the state legislature on Friday, carrying out the threat he made last month after Democrats staged a walk-out to block legislation. After the walk-out, Abbott vowed to defund the legislative branch for “abandon[ing] their responsibilities.”

“Texans don’t run from a legislative fight, and they don’t walk away from unfinished business,” Abbott said in a statement Friday. “Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session. I, therefore, object to and disapprove of these appropriations.”

Following the defunding of appropriations for the legislative staff, Democrats are crying foul. They insist that the Governor’s actions will hurt the people of Texas and that they will seek legal action against Abbott for his actions. The irony in all of this is that during the walk-off, not one Democrat who left the chamber talked about their legislative duties; their focus was a political one. They were willing to shirk their responsibilities as elected members of the legislature to make a point about a bill they didn’t like.

State Representative Chris Turner has spoken out about the walk-off, and now claims that the Governor is being unfair.

“Let’s be clear – vetoing the legislative branch will cause direct harm to Texans,” he continued. “Our constituent services are the lifeblood of our public service, something Abbott should try learning about. By placing a termination date on the employment of all legislative staff, the governor is cutting off services to millions of Texans.”

The Governor has been very straightforward with Democrats about his willingness to work on these issues and will call a special legislative session to address the remaining open items.

Following the 2020 election, there were many concerns surrounding election integrity. While Democrats take the position that SB 7 is too restrictive, and is meant to deter access to voting, evidence from this past general election shows otherwise.

In Travis County, poll watchers were kept away from the voting areas in a separate and locked room and were not allowed to oversee the counting and collection of votes. This is a strict violation of Texas Law and is now in the hands of Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In Bexar County, there was a woman chasing ballots and paying people for their votes and she was caught on camera by an undercover journalist. This person even admits on tape that she is committing a crime and could go to jail. The Attorney General’s office is currently reviewing these incidents, as well.

Whether the Democrats in the Texas legislature want to admit it or not, there are a number of questions surrounding election integrity and fraud. If Rep.Turner, and his Democrat colleagues, are indeed concerned about the rights of their fellow Texas, one would think that securing their votes would be of the highest priority.
It remains to be seen who will have the last dance.

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