Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Texas State Rep. Chris Turner flanked by other Texas Democrats. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dozens of Texas Democratic lawmakers held a press conference in D.C. on Tuesday to urge Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation, one day after they fled Texas to block the Republican-led legislature from passing restrictive new voting laws.

The latest: The Texas House of Representatives voted Tuesday to track down and force the Democrats to return to the legislature "under warrant of arrest if necessary," though it's unclear how that could be accomplished since Texas law enforcement lacks jurisdiction in D.C., according to the Texas Tribune.

Driving the news: The Democratic lawmakers acknowledged Tuesday that the gambit to prevent the Texas House from achieving quorum is only a temporary solution, noting they "are living right now on borrowed time in Texas."

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Monday that the lawmakers who left the state will be arrested upon their return to the state. He added that he will continue to call for special sessions until voting legislation is passed.
  • 57 Democratic lawmakers who fled Texas have asked the state House clerk to lock their voting machines in their absence.

What they're saying: "Our intent is to stay out and kill this bill, this session, and use the intervening time — I think 24, 25 days now — before the end of this session to implore [Congress] to pass federal voting rights legislation to protect voters in Texas and across the country," Texas State Rep. Chris Turner said at the conference.

  • "We can't hold this tide back forever. We're buying some time, we need Congress and all of our federal leaders to use that time wisely," Turner added.
  • Turner said that he hopes President Biden — who is delivering a major speech on voting rights on Tuesday afternoon — will give a "clear plan of action" on how to break gridlock in the Senate to pass voting rights legislation this summer.

The big picture: Senate Republicans last month filibustered the "For The People Act," a sweeping federal elections overhaul that would create national standards for early voting and voter registration, end partisan gerrymandering, reform campaign finance and ethics laws, and more.

  • There is no virtually no chance of the bill earning the 60 votes it needs in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. Even if Democrats moved to abolish the filibuster, which is also highly unlikely, moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has expressed opposition to the bill.
  • The Texas voting bills are part of a wave of proposals to restrict access to the ballot box being considered in GOP-led state legislatures in the wake of the 2020 election.

What to watch: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would be meeting with the Texas Democrats later today "to plot out strategy and to praise them for what they are doing," per CNN.

Go deeper

DOJ seeks emergency order to temporarily block Texas abortion law

Pro-Abortion rights protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 1 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Justice submitted an emergency motion late Tuesday seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks.

Why it matters: The action marks an escalation by the Biden administration in its challenge on the constitutionality of the GOP-led state's restrictive new law, after the DOJ filed a lawsuit last week following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, in a 5-4 vote, to allow the ban to remain in place.

Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot debt-limit options

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer leave the U.S. Capitol this week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are working on a short-term funding bill — which needs to pass before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — that includes a debt-limit increase.

Why it matters: The country will default on its debt in October for the first time in U.S. history if Congress doesn't increase the federal debt limit. Republicans and Democrats have entered a standoff — daring the other side to blink.

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.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!