special session

3 Texas Democrats to Testify in Front of US House Oversight Subcommittee

House Republicans continue to call on Democrats to return and vote on agenda items

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There is about a week and a half to go in the Texas legislative special session and most House Democrats are still in Washington after they left the state to avoid voting on a GOP elections bill.

Democratic lawmakers continue to fight for federal voting legislation that would supersede any state laws passed. Democrats held a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.

“We are here to press the case in Washington, and we are here to run out the clock on this special session, and we'll deal with whatever comes next down the road,” Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington) the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said.

Three members will testify Thursday in front of a U.S. House Oversight Subcommittee hearing called Democracy in Danger: The Assault on Voting Rights in Texas: Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) and Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio).

“The mere fact that we were invited to come and testify tells me that we are moving the needle to the sensitivity of our plight in Texas,” Thompson said.

But whether they are moving the needle or not, it’s unlikely federal legislation will become law before the end of the special session. Republicans continue to talk about legislation that is on the agenda for the special session, meeting with law enforcement representatives about bail reform on Tuesday.

“What we have seen in the last couple of years is a heartbroken system of repeat offenders getting out with very minimal bail if none and committing the same crimes,” Dallas Police Association Vice President Frederick Frazier said.

Republicans in Austin are calling on the Democrats to come back to the captial to work on getting bail reform and other bills passed.

“We are prepared to address this issue. We need more Democrats here to honor their commitment to come and work here in the capital,” Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston), chair of the House Republican Caucus, said.

All the legislators could be called back quickly after this session ends.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) can continue to call special sessions and another is already expected for redistricting.

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