WASHINGTON—Today, the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing about Texas Democrats’ superspreader stunt, in which Democratic Texas state legislators fled their duties for a Washington, D.C. vacation to avoid participating in the legislative process in the Texas legislature.
Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Ranking Member Pete Sessions (R-Texas) opened the subcommittee hearing by chastising Democrats in the Texas state legislature for ignoring their duties in favor of coming on a vacation to Washington. He compared Democrats in the Texas State House to Republicans in the House of Representatives saying, “Republicans don’t walk out. We don’t go and accuse people of things just because we are losing. I would suggest to you that what is happening today in Texas is the rights of all Texans are being withheld because members of the Democrat party who are members of the State House choose not to be a part of this.”
Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened the subcommittee hearing by correcting the fraudulent title Democrats coined for the hearing. He said, “The hearing title today claims there is an assault on voting rights in Texas, which would be very troubling if it were true. But it isn’t. Your hearing title implies a big lie. Today, Democrats are holding a hearing meant to convince us of the necessity of their bill, H.R. 1, that would federalize elections across this country, funnel taxpayer money to politicians, and prevent commonsense and popular integrity measures such as voter ID. Once again, Democrats are engaging in spectacle over substance while conducting no real oversight.”
Republican Texas State Rep. Travis Clardy spoke to the security and safety of Texas’ elections and the need for Democrat members of the Texas State Legislature to return to Austin. He said, “Let me just say to my Democratic colleagues there with you today: It’s time to come home. Enough is enough, you’ve had your fun. It’s time to get back to work. You know as well as I do, this legislation has been negotiated in good faith and deserves your attention. . . Like every bill, it can get better through debate and deliberations . . . It’s an inclusive process that has served us well and it is available to all those who want to participate. Simply put, we should want to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) questioned Democrat Texas State Rep. Thompson about the various activities in the state of Texas requiring an ID, including purchase of alcohol, cashing a check in the bank, and more.
Rep. Mace deconstructed the Texas Democrats’ arguments that laws are hurting the percentage of voters for people of color. She said, “You have 70% of blacks in Texas who are registered to vote, you have 72% of whites in Texas who are registered to vote . . . Do you know the number or percentage of Democrats who support voter ID in this country? 72%. Do you know the number of black and brown African Americans in this country who support voter ID? 75%. Do you know the number of Hispanics who support voter ID in this country? 81%. Do you know where the state of Texas is rated for Black voter turnout in this country? . . . Texas is ranked 10th.”
Congressman Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) laid out the facts showing how House Republicans don’t flee town when legislation they don’t like comes up for a vote. He said, “We cast our votes and we move ahead. Sure, on the Republican side, we will message about how we think it’s wrong, then when those bad policies bear rotten fruit, like skyrocketing inflation, crippling national debt, a humanitarian crisis on our border, or spikes in violent crime, we can say we told you so. But we still suck it up. Do our job and take the votes. And we bide our time until we retake the majority. We don’t act like a bunch of spoiled cowards running away and refusing to vote when it’s clear we don’t have the numbers to get our way.”
Franklin went on to question Texas Democrats’ desire to abandon their own duties to work on state laws in favor of having the federal government take over state election systems. He said, “I can’t fathom why you would want to cede power granted to your state back to the federal government. I hope the good people of Texas are watching this and really understand what our witnesses are trying to do. They think the federal government knows better than you Texans how you should conduct your elections.”
Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) questioned the Democratic Texas state legislators about the status of the Voting Rights Act and whether they felt it was necessary for Texas voting laws to be cleared by the Department of Justice. He said, “Voting Rights Act remains in effect—the 1965 Voting Rights Act remains in effect, that provision—Section 5—is what was overturned because it was 50-year-old data.”
He then asked the Democrat legislators, “Do you believe that Texas should have to submit to the Department of Justice for any changes that it makes in its voting laws or formulas?” They all confirmed yes, with one representative going so far as to say that maps should also be submitted to DOJ. Roy clarified further, “For the record, the representatives from Texas believe that they should have to defer to Washington—defer to the federal government—on what we should do for election laws in the state of Texas.”
Congressman Pat Fallon (R-Texas) corrected Democrat Texas state lawmakers about state election laws. He elaborated on how the bill before the Texas legislature is falsely labeled as a “racially discriminatory bill” that impairs voter participation. The witnesses were unable to provide facts to back up their misleading statements about the bill.