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Texas Gov. threatens to stop funding his state legislature after they block anti-voting rights bill

Texas Gov. threatens to stop funding his state legislature after they block anti-voting rights bill

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It must be extremely frustrating for Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) to see his schemes to retain Republican power in his state by passing new election legislation that restricts voting rights for its citizens be thwarted by clever Democratic lawmakers.

The Democrats walked out of the Texas House of Representatives in the waning hours of its session as the last-minute additions to the bill were being debated, denying the Republican majority the quorum necessary to vote on the bill before the Texas legislature’s session expired for the year, and dooming the voting legislation for the time being.

Now, Governor Abbott is apparently seeking revenge against the Democratic legislators who outwitted the GOP effort to destroy representative democracy in their state.

Abbott has declared that he will call the Texas legislature back into a special session to attempt to pass the bill again and is petulantly threatening to withhold pay from its members and defund the branch of state government that did not enact the new law that he wanted so desperately to take effect before the next election.

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One can expect that Governor Abbott’s moves will be fiercely challenged by Democrats in the courts given the dubious legality of his vindictive moves and his vested political interest in the voter suppression aspects of the proposed legislation.

The chair of the House Democratic Caucus, State Rep. Chris Turner (D), vowed to continue to use every parliamentary means at Democrats’ disposal to prevent the passage of the bill which would have banned both drive-through voting and 24-hour voting; imposed new restrictions on absentee voting; granted broad new autonomy and authority to partisan poll watchers; and increased punishments for mistakes or offenses by election officials.

We’re going to fight him every step of the way, we’re going to fight Republicans every step of the way, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to continue to stop, slow down and mitigate this legislation.” Turner said yesterday on CNN.

Of course, the battle in Texas, as well as in the numerous other Republican-controlled states passing similarly restrictive election legislation, could all be moot if Congress passes the federal voting rights bill that has been stalled due to the necessity of 60 affirmative Senate votes to overcome a GOP filibuster of the legislation.

With both Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) opposed to modifying or ending the Senate filibuster rules, the likelihood of the federal government coming to the rescue of state voting rights seems remote, despite the fact that President Joe Biden has declared the proposed Texas legislation an “assault on democracy.”

It looks like we will have to stay tuned to see how the next round in this battle for the soul of our democracy transpires, but, in the meantime, you can tell Governor Abbott how you feel about his coercive strongarming of texas legislature at this link.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by Shannon Pettypiece at Yahoo News.

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