A Republican voter suppression bill seeks to stop people of color from voting and tilt the election in their favor, according to Texas Democratic lawmakers.
In an exclusive interview for LPO, Texas House Representative Diego Bernal said that "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won. Republicans are seeing that black and brown faces are voting and they want to guarantee the outcome of the election."
"If the elections are already secure, then your motive has to be that you want to deliver the elections in your favor," Bernal added.
In another interview for LPO, Texas House Representative Alex Dominguez said that Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republican governors are trying to pass legislation "to stop people of color, people like me, from voting."
Dominguez, the 6th of 10 children born into a family of migrant farmworkers, stated "I received many phone calls to my office and to my law office, people saying very mean things, like that I am a dumb Mexican and I should go back to Mexico, they said worse things than that as well," he said.
"Those are the types of people that are supporting this bill and the types of people that are supporting this governor. If that is the case, then they just verified that we are doing the right thing," Dominguez added.
More than 50 Democrats from the Texas House of Representatives arrived in Washington this week to lobby Members of Congress to pass comprehensive federal voting rights legislation and prevent the passage of a controversial bill in the state.
Democrats hoped their exodus would break a quorum - the minimum number of lawmakers needed to conduct business - so Republicans couldn't pass legislation.
"We can be here indefinitely, but we have a session that ends and that is what is in front of us. We have a window of time with Congress and the U.S. Senate to pass meaningful legislation that comes to the rescue of Texas voters. We will do what we can to kill the voter suppression bill," said Bernal.
Their efforts caught the attention of the White House. Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a closed meeting with the Democratic lawmakers at the American Federation of Teachers near the Capitol building on Tuesday.
Rep. Dominguez is set to stay out of Texas for the next thirty days.
"We have to be out Texas until August 7, at which point we can return," he said. "If this governor wants to arrest us that will be on his conscious, I believe we stand in the right side of history."
US Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) told LPO that "at some point people are going to get tired of the antics when they realize that inevitably there will have to be a vote."
"No likes to lose a debate over an important issue that you care about, but that is the nature of the process. You lose this time, and then you try to build a coalition to change it next time," he added. "This is crazy. Since when do Texans ask the federal government to run our state?"
Regarding voting rights bills - S1 and S3- Cornyn said: "I hope they both go down to the defeat that they deserve. S1 is coming in the front door taking over the voting and the other one is coming in the backdoor, the so-called John Lewis bill, which wants to reinstate the preclearance requirement so that before the state can change its voting laws it has to ask permission of the Department of Justice. The Supreme Court of course it struck down using an old formula that did not credit improve voting participation by minority votes."
Both Texas lawmakers believe that Governor Abbott's actions are catering to former president Donald Trump's political platform.
"They believe the â€˜big lie' that Trump lost the election because of fraud. The AG from Texas, who is far right, said the elections were secure. The likelihood of there being fraud is less than getting struck by lightning. Those are the actual mathematical odds," said Bernal.
Rep Dominguez for his part, said that he believes that "the challenge that the governor has is from his right and he is trying to appeal to those voters."
"Two weeks ago, he said would use a quarter of a billion dollars to build a border wall from our funds and take donation," he noted. "These are not emergency items for the governor. He has been in office for over a decade, he is clearly trying to cater to the Trump wing of the Republican party."
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