Maskless Democrat members of the Texas State Legislature smiled gleefully as they fled from Texas to Washington, DC, on Monday as part of their protest to halt the Texas GOP’s efforts to strengthen election safeguards in the Lone Star State.
Pictures show several smiling, maskless, Texas Democrats on a plane fleeing Texas in part of their move to protest the GOP’s efforts to strengthen election integrity in the state. Notably, Texas Democrats thwarted the effort at the end of the 2021 regular session by staging a walkout, leaving Republicans without a quorum to vote on the measure, Senate Bill 7, in May.
As a result, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) promised that election integrity would be added to the special session agenda. And indeed, Abbott’s office subsequently released an agenda for the special session, which included key election integrity items.
However, instead of tackling the legislative priorities, Texas Democrats opted to flee the state yet again, denying the GOP majority a quorum to pass any bills.
“This is a now-or-never for our democracy. We are holding the line in Texas,” Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer said. “We’ve left our jobs, we’ve left our families, we’ve left our homes. Because there is nothing more important than voting rights in America.”
Pictures show the Democrats smiling aboard a plane, holding up peace signs and without masks. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers, such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rick Scott (R-FL), have been vying to end the federal mask mandate, which requires domestic travelers to wear a mask on commercial flights, regardless of vaccination status.
According to a February report from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the federal rule extends to “charter operations and at transportation hubs including FBOs,” although “private conveyances for personal, non-commercial use are exempt from the rule, meaning passengers of private Part 91 operations are not required to comply.”
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC
— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
Interestingly, a case of Miller Lite can be seen on the bus — prompting critics to note that alcohol sales require photo ID — something Democrats routinely describe as suppressive and racist.
Did they need an ID to buy that Miller lite? pic.twitter.com/K6IjfxFIFg
— Jeremy Grey (@jeremygrey11) July 12, 2021
To avoid a vote, Texas Democrats jet off to DC on privately chartered planes — maskless, unlike all the little people who fly commercial. What a look. https://t.co/fLkcakHKbn
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 12, 2021
As Breitbart News reported, the original election integrity bill Texas Democrats quashed placed additional restrictions on voting by mail, creating new ID requirements and expanding the freedoms for partisan poll watchers.
“One of the primary things that we sought to achieve was to address flaws, as well as the possibility for cheating in mail-in ballots,” Abbott said in reaction to President Biden’s criticism of the measure.
“The voter law in the state of Texas is far more accommodative and provides far more hours to vote than it does in President Biden’s home state of Delaware, where he voted in the last election, where they offer exactly zero early voting days,” he told the Dallas Morning News.
“If there’s any voter suppression taking place, the easier allegation is say that voter suppression has taken place in Delaware, not Texas,” he added.