'Get back to work': Republican ad targets wayward Texas Democrats

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The Texas Democratic legislators camped out in the nation’s capital to stymie a new voting bill back home show no sign of returning to Austin, so Republicans are giving them a nudge.
 
The Republican State Leadership Committee (RLSC) and Associated Republicans of Texas launched this week a six-figure text and digital campaign seeking to “hold Democrats accountable for abandoning Texas.”
 
“Democrats in Texas took an oath to serve the people,” says the 15-second spot. “But instead, they hopped on a D.C.-bound private jet to avoid passing critical laws that Texans support. Stop the publicity stunt. Get back to work.”
 
Nearly 60 Texas House Democrats flew Monday by chartered jets to Dulles International Airport, denying the chamber a quorum in a second attempt to stop the passage of GOP election-integrity legislation decried by Democrats as a voter-suppression bill.
 
Another eight Lone Star State Democratic senators have since joined the House legislators, but even so, the state Senate had enough members this week to pass the elections bill, as well as legislation toughening up bail requirements and barring transgender athletes from female scholastic sports.
 
Those bills will remain in limbo until the return of the House Democrats, who say they plan to stay out of state until the special session ends Aug. 7, although Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to keep calling 30-day special sessions as long as necessary to move the legislation.

Vice President Kamala D. Harris has lauded the Democrats for their “great sacrifice,” while Associated Republicans of Texas President Jamie McWright called them a “national embarrassment.”
 
“They are subverting democracy and leaving critical legislation on the table to die solely to engage in a publicity stunt to raise money,” said Ms. McWright in a statement. “We are proud to partner with the RSLC to make sure that, come November 2022, Texans remember they were abandoned by those that swore to serve them.”
 
Texas Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan announced Thursday that he has chartered a private plane on standby to bring back the Democratic legislators, an offer they declined, saying that the Republican speaker “should save his money.”
 
“We’re not going anywhere and suggest instead the speaker end this charade of a session, which is nothing more than a month-long campaign commercial for Gov. Abbott’s re-election,” said the caucus statement. “The speaker should adjourn the House sine die.”
 
The Texas Democrats have held press conferences and met with D.C. Democratic lawmakers to push for H.R. 1, the far-reaching national Democratic voting bill that would expand the federal government’s authority over elections and override much of the Texas legislation.
 
The Republican ad, “Publicity Stunt,” targets 12 of the House Democratic legislators.
 
“Rather than acting like a child that takes their ball and goes home after a loss, these Texas liberals should stop grinding the democratic process to a halt and get back to work,” said RSLC President Dee Duncan.

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