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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

Sep 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Sep 20, 2021 - Health

First Texas doctor sued for performing abortion in violation of new law

Abortion rights activists march to the house of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase Maryland, on Sept. 13, 2021, following the court's decision to uphold a stringent abortion law in Texas. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

A San Antonio physician is facing a lawsuit after he admitted performing an abortion considered illegal under Texas' new law.

Why it matters: The civil suit, filed by a convicted felon in Arkansas, against Alan Braid is the first such suit under the law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a pregnant person obtain an abortion after six weeks.

Updated Sep 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.