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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Democrats sued Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for vetoing funding that covers thousands of paychecks in the state legislature after lawmakers walked off the House floor in May to block a restrictive voting bill.

Driving the news: Lawmakers argue in the suit that the veto was unconstitutional, adding that "[i]f given legal effect, Governor Abbott's unconstitutional veto will effectively result in the abolition of the Legislature..."

  • The veto affects more than $400 million and blocks paychecks of legislators and nonpartisan staff, AP reports. The funding applies to the next budget cycle, which starts in September.

Catch up quick: After the walkout, Abbott vowed to veto the funding, saying, "[n]o pay for those who abandon their responsibilities."

  • Abbott has indicated the funding could be restored once lawmakers return for a special session when Republicans are expected to try again to pass the voting laws, AP notes.

What they're saying: "What he’s doing is hurting our staff and hurting our constituents," state Rep. Chris Turner (D) said, per Forbes.

  • "Abbott’s veto is an abuse of power, an act of legislative coercion and a threat to democracy, the result of which is clear and immediate harm to the people of Texas," state Turner said, according to Spectrum News.
  • "The Legislature is a co-equal branch of government and the separation of powers is enshrined in our state constitution. The governor doesn’t get to simply cancel another branch of government when he doesn’t get his way," Turner added.

The other side: "This is not the first time, and undoubtedly will not be the last time, that a governor vetoes funding for government positions and salaries," an Abbott spokesperson said, per AP.

Go deeper

House approves $1 billion in funding for Israel's Iron Dome defense system

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip on May 18. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

The House voted Thursday to approve $1 billion in funding to Israel's Iron Dome defense system via a stand-alone bill, days after the provision was removed from a short-term government funding bill because of backlash from progressive lawmakers.

State of play: Several progressive members had threatened to vote against the short-term funding bill, which also includes language to raise the debt ceiling. The clash surrounding the measure underscored the deep divisions in the Democratic Party over Israel.

Texas Gov. Abbott sends fleet of cars to form "steel wall" along southern border

U.S. Border Patrol, National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles in Del Rio, Texas, shine their lights on the crossing point for mostly Haitian migrants on the Rio Grande on Sept. 21. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) told Fox News Tuesday that he has sent hundreds of state-owned vehicles to the southern border to form a barrier to prevent migrants from crossing.

Why it matters: It's the latest measure taken to block the entry of migrants around Del Rio, Tex., where thousands coming from Haiti have taken refuge while trying to seek asylum.

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.