As Abbott’s Suppression Session Ends, Here’s What Texas Democrats Have Accomplished

AUSTIN, Texas — There’s just one day left in Greg Abbott’s irregular special legislative session, and Texas Democrats haven’t wasted a minute in pushing for progress on voting rights. In the last month, Texas Democratic lawmakers in D.C. have put the struggle for voting rights protections in national headlines, rallied a massive, growing coalition for voting rights that includes a broad swath of federal legislators, and moved the needle on one of the biggest civil rights battles of our time.

Here’s what Texas Democrats have accomplished while making their stand for voting rights in D.C.:

  • Kept the fight for voting rights protections in the national spotlight for a full month — making headlines across the country week after week, and building nation-wide support for today’s central civil rights struggle.
  • Met with tens of top federal leaders to seek voting rights protections at the national level — including Vice President Kamala Harris; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; Senators Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Merkley, Raphael Warnock, and Elizabeth Warren; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters; former President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton; and more.
  • Rallied a massive coalition for voting rights, including key labor rights and civil rights voices from across the country, among them the AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota, SEIU Texas, Dolores Huerta, Bernice King, Stacey Abrams and many more.
  • Laid the groundwork for federal legislators to put forward further solutions, like Senator Jon Ossoff’s Right to Vote Act.
  • Brought attention to key actions led by partners in Texas, such as the Selma to Montgomery-style march led by Reverend William Barber, Beto O’Rourke, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Powered by People.
  • Paved the way for legislators from other states to take action, with Democratic lawmakers from Georgia and Florida joining our fight in D.C.
  • Held true to our country’s storied tradition of civil disobedience, with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, and Representative Ron Reynolds facing arrest for protesting for voting rights.

Texas Democrats have now blocked Republicans’ shameful and unconstitutional attacks twice this summer. With failed and flailing Gov. Greg Abbott calling yet another irregular special session to pursue these attacks, Texas Democrats will continue to fight tooth and nail to defend voting rights — and continue to call on federal lawmakers to respond with equal urgency.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Right now, thanks to Texas Democratic lawmakers, the fight for voting rights is front and center in the national consciousness. And as Abbott’s irregular special session draws to a close, our brave lawmakers have succeeded in blocking those attacks for the time being — buying us critical time to advocate for federal voting rights protections. Our lawmakers spent the last four weeks rallying a massive national coalition for voting rights, and have moved the needle on one of the biggest civil rights struggles of our time.

“As Texas Republicans wreak havoc on our communities, it’s devastatingly clear why we need every Texas voter to be able to make their voice heard. Right now, Greg Abbott’s catastrophic response to the COVID surge is putting Texans’ lives in danger. When Republican leaders fail us, just as Abbott is failing now, communities need to be able to raise their voices, advocate for their needs, and choose leaders who will put Texans first. That starts at the ballot box — and that’s why Republican attacks on our right to vote are a direct attack on our communities. We will keep fighting back with everything we have, and we urge our federal lawmakers to meet the moment and protect the right to vote in our country, once and for all.”