Press Release

HDC Chair Chris Turner Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Historic Quorum Break

(TEXAS) – Today marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the Texas House Democrats’ historic, 38-day quorum break. On July 12, 2021, House Democrats traveled to Washington, D.C. to delay passage of Republicans’ anti-voter law and to lobby the federal government to pass critical voter protection legislation.

HDC Chair Chris Turner issued the following statement to commemorate the anniversary: 

“One year ago, Texas House Democrats took necessary action and left the state to fight back against Texas Republicans’ repeated attacks on the freedom to vote. House Democrats stood united in our goal to delay the anti-voter Senate Bill 1 and to give the federal government time to pass critical voter-protection legislation. The courage, determination and grit demonstrated by Democratic House Members brought much-needed attention to Republicans’ continued assault on our democracy.

“We are grateful to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. House of Representatives for accelerating the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act following our time in Washington. Republican Senators — including John Cornyn and Ted Cruz — have been relentlessly hostile toward voting rights, using a filibuster to block the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Act.

“Sadly, Texas House Democrats’ predictions about Republicans’ assault on our democracy have been proven true since our quorum break. When Republicans finally passed the anti-voter Senate Bill 1 — legislation based solely upon Donald Trump’s Big Lie — in the second-called special session, we predicted that Texans would be disenfranchised. A few short months later, tens of thousands of mail ballots were rejected during the March primary elections.

“While in Washington, we told federal leaders that Texans needed the preclearance protections of the John Lewis Act ahead of redistricting. Without them, Republicans would feel emboldened to again pass discriminatory maps for the Legislature, Congress and State Board of Education. And that’s exactly what happened.

“In a state where 95% of our tremendous growth over the last decade was driven by communities of color, Republicans rammed through maps that deny minority Texans proportional opportunities to elect their candidates of choice, all so Republicans can hold onto power longer.

“And in recent weeks, we have learned just how far some Republicans will go to cling to power. The un-American and anti-democracy actions of Donald Trump and other Republicans to overturn a free and fair presidential election — a shameful episode that our indicted Attorney General, Ken Paxton, was a central figure in — only reinforce why strong Congressional action is needed now.

“Texas House Democrats will continue to champion real solutions for the people of Texas and we will never stop fighting to safeguard the most fundamental freedom we have — the freedom to vote. It is not too late for the federal government to take immediate action to pass legislation to ensure every eligible voter is able to make their voices heard.”

The Texas House Democratic Caucus, which is composed of all Democrats in the Texas House, serves as the group’s membership services and logistical arm, and works to support House Democrats with communications, policy, and legal resources. Chaired by Rep. Chris Turner (D – Grand Prairie), the Caucus is focused on fighting for real solutions for all Texans.

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