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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

Texas Republicans pass new congressional maps in their favor

Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 84-59 late Monday to approve new congressional district maps that reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after recent census figures found Texas' growing diverse population doesn't bode well for Republicans, who then worked to protect incumbents with the redrawn maps.

Republicans scuttle voting rights proposal

Sen. Joe Manchin. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The Senate failed to advance a new voting rights bill in a 49-51 vote Wednesday, after Republicans successfully filibustered the bill.

Why it matters: The Freedom to Vote Act is the latest attempt by Democrats to counter Republican-led efforts to pass state laws restricting voting access. This marks the third time this year that Republicans have been able to scuttle voting rights legislation, the New York Times noted.

Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Atlanta

Scoop: Georgia's Raffensperger calls for bipartisan election reform

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Axios that it's time for a bipartisan commission on federal election reform, like the one co-chaired by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker in 2005.

Why it matters: Raffensperger refused former President Donald Trump’s request last year to "find" the votes to overturn Georgia’s election results and defended the state's 2020 vote count from members of his own party.