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East Texas lawmakers growing frustrated with House Democrats who fled to DC

State Rep. Chris Paddie: “Basically we’re stuck”
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 8:35 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - The special session continues in Austin, but without enough Texas House members to get anything done.

We’re now in day five of the special session standoff, and Republican lawmakers are growing more and more frustrated with democrats who fled to Washington D.C.

“We’re here and we’re ready to go to work,” said State Rep. Cole Hefner, a Republican from Mt. Pleasant. “We have rules in place. We’re elected to do a job. We don’t just get to leave the playing field, because we don’t like what’s ahead of us. We’ve got to stand in and fight our fight.”

Republican Texas House Rep. Chris Paddie of Marshall says while Democrats went to D.C. to prevent the passage of the GOP’s elections bill, the clock is also ticking on other legislation.

“This is not going to end,” Paddie said. “All we’re going to do is delay the inevitable here. These pieces of legislation, in particular the election integrity bill, are bill that are going to pass at some point. Whether it’s one session from, or two or three from now.”

With the House on hold, Gov. Greg Abbott already has his sights set on another special session. And he can keep calling them until he feels the job is done.

“You know when the special session ends, he (Abbott) has already said he will call one beginning the very next day,” Paddie said.

And while House members still in Austin can do almost nothing more each day than a morning prayer, the Texas Senate is still at work. On Friday, the Senate passed State Senator Bryan Hughes’ Critical Race Theory bill. But without a quorum in the house, even legislation passed by the Senate has no where to go.

“Basically we’re stuck until the Democrats make a decision to come back at least in enough numbers to give us a quorum to advance these measures and get our work done and go home,” Paddie said.

House Speaker Dade Phelan is expected to charter a plane Saturday to fly Democrats back to Austin. However, Democrats say the speaker should save his money, because they don’t plan to leave.

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