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A group of Texas House Democrats who fled the state to block a Republican-led effort to pass a new voting law will be arrested "as soon as they come back," Gov. Greg Abbott (R) told Fox News late Monday.

Driving the news: Abbott's warning comes after the Democratic lawmakers left the state for Washington, D.C., Monday night to block the legislation via a lack of quorum in the chamber.

  • The lawmakers, who said the law would "trample on Texans' freedom to vote," said they will stay away for as long as they need to to prevent the legislation from passing, which would require them to stay out of the state for the remainder of the special session.
  • They said they were flying to D.C. to demand that Congress pass the For the People Act.

What he's saying: "As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done," Abbott said.

  • "I can and I will continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year. And so if these people want to be hanging out wherever they're hanging out on this taxpayer-paid junket, they're going to have to be prepared to do it for well over a year."
  • "The state house of representatives who are here in the Capitol ... do have the ability to issue a call to have their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested but only so long as that arrest is made in the state of Texas. That's why they have fled the state," he added.
  • "Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol and we will be conducting business."

Abbott noted that the lawmakers are "risking losing their jobs as state representatives for not showing up."

Go deeper: Texas Dems flee state in effort to block GOP voting restrictions

Go deeper

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.