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Texas GOP Speaker Calls For Arrest Of Returning Democrat



American and Texas state flags flying on the dome of the Texas State Capitol-Texas GOP-SS-Featured

The Texas GOP finally got a bit of payback when the Republican Speaker of the Texas House signed a civil warrant of arrest for a returning member. Texas GOP Speaker Dade Phelan issued a civil arrest warrant for State Representative Philip Cortez as he returned to Austin from his trip to Washington DC.

RELATED: Texas Dems’ Donor Drive for Colleagues in DC Laughed At

Civil Arrest Warrant Issued 

Cortez went home from his trip to Washington DC, along with fellow Texas Democrats. The main purpose of the trip is to ensure that the Texas Legislature won’t have enough members for a quorum. The special session to approve a bill for voting reform required a quota. 

Texas Democrats left in the middle of the night for Washington DC in order to avoid attending the session. They plan to stay in DC until the session expires. However, Cortez decided to go home earlier than scheduled. Upon his return, the Texas GOP speaker ordered his arrest. 

In Pursuit of Article II, Section 10 

Phelan justified the arrest warrant as the House’s duty to compel absent members of the Texas House of Representatives to attend the session. Article II Section 10 of the Texas State constitution reads: “Two-thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide.”

Phelan instructed the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas to carry out the civil arrest warrant for Cortez. Once arrested, the Sergeant-at-Arms will transport the offending member before the House of Representatives to attend the session. 

Cortez Fled To Washington DC Again 

Cortez returned to Austin last week in order to reopen a dialogue with Texas GOP members about House Bill 3. Phelan said that the Democrat returned to the House of his own decision. He wanted to “work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas,” Phelan said. 

However, when the Texas GOP speaker approved Cortez’s request to temporarily leave the House floor, he instead fled the state and returned to Washington DC to join his absentee party mates. The incident has “irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber,” Phelan said. 

Democrats Welcome Back Cortez in DC Despite Returning To Texas Without Telling Anyone

Many of Cortez’s fellow Democrats in DC said that Cortez did not tell them about his decision to go back to Austin. Many found out about it when he arrived in Texas. The Texas Tribune reported that “Other Democrats criticized Cortez’s move, saying the lawmaker did not first consult with them before returning to Austin.”

Still, the Democrats were just happy to have him back in Washington DC. Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner lauded his decision to return to DC. “In the Texas House Democratic Caucus, our unity is our strength. We welcome Rep. Phil Cortez, who is a valued member of our Caucus, back to Washington, D.C. with open arms. All 57 Democrats breaking quorum are just as firm in our commitment to seeing this through until the end as we were the day we left. We are united and unrelenting in our commitment to protect the freedom to vote,” he said. 

Session Still Lack Quorum

The Texas Democrats plan to stay in DC until after August 6, That day will be the last of the special session. Speaking from the capital, Representative Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, said that Democrats returning to Texas isn’t a concern as long attending members remain under 100. At present, the quorum remains around 90, as Democrats who didn’t join the party to flee to DC are now attending sessions. This presents continued vexation for the Texas GOP, from Governor Greg Abbott to House GOP lawmakers, especially Phelan.  

“Many of those that are there simply know how to count,” Johnson said. “The fact that they still need a bunch more doesn't mean that they are anywhere close to having a quorum. So we're still strong. There could be some that are there just to simply gather some information, because they can leave anytime they want. The quorum is still broke.”

Second Democrat To Go Home

Cortez is the second Texas Democrat to return to their home state after fleeing to Washington DC. Earlier, Representative Harold Dutton, D-Houston, returned to the capitol Tuesday. He cited family reasons for his return. It turned out he has a sister undergoing chemotherapy.

Watch the Austin-American Statesman video reporting that Texas House vote to authorize arrest warrants for Democrats absent at roll call:

What do you think of Texas Democrats running away from their work duties?

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What do you think about the ongoing quorum problems in the Texas legislature? Do you find the Democrats’ way of dealing with bills they don’t like acceptable behavior?

Let us know what you think about arresting Democrats for not showing up to work. Share your thoughts below.

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  • Scott says:

    It their salary, Put them in jail for a long time. Prison seems more fitting.

  • Stan says:

    This wreaks of first grade antics. If we don’t like what you say then we will gather in a group and hide. It’s not our great country it’s a portion of this country who want only rules that favor their lazy attitude. It’s clear to me that laziness never got anyone anywhere. They don’t want to work —they don’t want to be fair show an id to buy alcohol or fly but if you want to vote just go ahead. Common sense tells us it makes no sense

  • Edward says:

    FIRE them. Take away their salaries and benefits. Take away their pensions. Make hem know how it feels to be an average citizen and live like the rest of us do. They are law breakers. Make them pay for breaking the law, we all pay for breaking he law.

  • kerry l appleton says:

    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BECOME A SANCTUARY FOR CRIMINALS, Politicians are the lowest form of life on the planet and the democrats are the lowest of the low OUR WHITE HOUSE HAS BEEEN HIJACKED BY MARXIST BASTARDS.

  • Sam says:

    Break the law, pay the price, enjoy the GRAY BAR MOTEL for awhile . You will find some men in there who will do to you what Texas citizens feel like you are doing to us! The White House is also contributing to this disregard of our Constitution by allowing such behavior as well! MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHAT POLITICAL PARTY YOU ARE AFFILIATED WITH – WHAT THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE AND NATION WANT IS FOR YOU TO QUIT BEHAVING LIKE SPOILED BRATS AND EARN YOUR PAY OR GET OUT. GOT IT? WE’LL SEE.

  • David says:

    So Abbott’s ball-less?!

  • GomeznSA says:

    One thing is for sure – while they are gone they really can’t do any damage to my State. Maybe they should just stay away 😉
    Seriously, their ‘action’ just shows how petty and childish they really are. Maybe they ought to call a ‘waambulance’ to bring them all back and they certainly deserve whatever punishments (likely minimal at best) they do get.
    I double dog dare ANY of them to name even one person that has or would get their voting rights ‘violated’ should the reforms get enacted. While they are at it, explain how those reforms are ‘racist’ in any fashion. I’m getting old so I can’t wait too long for their excuses oops ‘explanations’.

  • Margo Wendt says:

    Had I ever done this sort of thing at any employment, I would have been FIRED immediately! Why do the constituents allow their ‘employees’ to not do their job? It’s absolutely ridiculous🤯

  • Margo Wendt says:


  • Bill says:

    Write down the names of the freeloaders. Then, come election time be sure to tell everyone you meet what they did. VOTE THEM OUT!

  • Billy W says:

    I think they should be fined $1millionj each for not doing their job but playing politics like Pelosi does .

  • Marcia Sprow says:

    So…..can every American run from their jobs if they disagree?? And come back to their job and not be fired?? I want a job like that.!!! It is childish behavior and should be punished . Those people are elected officials, what gives them the right to flee??

  • Jim Evans says:

    They shouldn’t be paid for 6 months , and be put in jail.

  • WOLF says:


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