AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House sergeant-at-arms and staff, along with law enforcement, is going to absent House members' homes looking for them, a spokesman for the House speaker confirmed to KVUE and Austin American-Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski.
The Texas House of Representatives is currently operating under a broken quorum as Democrats left in order to halt GOP-backed election legislation. The Texas Legislature is days into its second special session.
This week, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan signed civil arrest warrants for 52 House Democrats still missing from the state Capitol. The warrants were delivered to the House sergeant-at-arms Wednesday for service, a spokesperson confirmed to The Texas Tribune.
The civil arrest warrants mean that law enforcement and the sergeant-at-arms can bring the absent members to the Capitol. The absent members do not face jail time or fines.
Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the Texas Senate's version of the election bill, passed Aug. 12, despite a 15-hour filibuster against SB1 by State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston). SB1 would place new restrictions on voting that many opponents say would disproportionately suppress ballots from voters of color and disabled voters. It was passed 18-11 along party lines.
Many Texas House Democrats are in Washington, D.C., to pass voting rights legislation on the federal level. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blocked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-New York) 3 a.m. attempt (CST) this week to pass Democrats' voting rights legislation.
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