U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) criticized Texas House Democrats from the Senate floor on Tuesday, calling their walkout and breaking of quorum an "embarrassing dereliction of their duty and a shameful political stunt."
On Monday, dozens of House Democrats left Texas for Washington D.C. to break the quorum at the state Capitol and effectively stop all votes in the Texas House. Primarily, Democrats said they're working to stop a vote on election legislation they said is actually voter suppression.
Cornyn on Tuesday said the Texas Democrats failed to realize the irony in their move, by "using their collective power as the minority party to stop a bill from becoming law while coming to Washington D.C. to ask the president and Senate Dems to nuke the very Senate rule that protects the rights of the minority."
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"In other words, you might say, a filibuster for me, but not for thee," Cornyn said.
The senior senator called the walkout by Texas House Democrats, "an embarrassing dereliction of their duty and a shameful political stunt."
"They can't win so they're doing the equivalent of, 'I'll take my ball and go home,' or in this case, 'I'm simply running away,'" Cornyn said. "But as Texans, standing up to a fight is part of who we are even if you know in the end you may not prevail. But instead, they turned their backs, hopped on a private jet, and ran from this fight."
Cornyn said Democrats have created a false choice between voter access and election security and that "it's disingenuous and downright false to claim that any effort to prevent fraud is a veiled attempt at voter suppression."
"I think it boils down to this: We should be making it easier to vote and tougher to cheat, plain and simple," Cornyn said, adding that "nothing the Texas legislature is considering will deny people with a legitimate right to vote an ability to cast their vote."
Democrats say the bill proposed by Texas Republicans includes outlawing 24-hour polling places, banning ballot drop boxes and empowering partisan poll watchers.
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Vice President Kamala Harris met with Texas House Democrats in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and called their special session walk out a courageous and patriotic act and one that is done in defense of the right to vote for all Americans.
"I know what you have done comes with great sacrifice, both personal and political, and you are doing this in support and defense of some of our nation's highest ideals," Harris said. "Defending the right of the American people to vote is as American as apple pie."
Earlier Tuesday, President Joe Biden delivered a long-anticipated speech on voting rights and referred to them as a "test of our time." The president's full speech can be seen below.