On Monday, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott threatened to veto a section of the state budget that funds lawmakers’ pay after Democratic lawmakers walked out during a legislative session in order to prevent the state’s Republicans from giving final approval to a sweeping voter suppression bill.
“I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Abbott tweeted. “Stay tuned.”
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature.
Article 10 funds the legislative branch.
No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Abbott’s tweet referred to Article X of the budget, which pays not only lawmakers and staff but also funds legislative agencies, such as the Legislative Budget Board.
President Joe Biden spoke out against the legislation over the weekend.
“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote. It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans,” the President said. “It’s wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote.”
The election bill passed in the senate and was being debated in the house before the walkout. The law bans drive-through and 24-hour voting, makes it difficult for voters to use absentee ballots, and gives more power to poll watchers.
“Democrats in the House and Senate in Texas have been working all session long to kill these Republican vote suppression measures. And Senate Bill 7 was the worst of the worst,” Democratic Texas House Minority Leader Chris Turner told CNN on Monday. “And so we were determined to kill this bill in any way we could.”
Turner explained that “any bills that don’t pass by midnight effectively die.”
According to Newsweek, the Governor plans to call a special session to force a vote on the bill.
Democratic Texas Representative Donna Howard tweeted that vetoing Article 10 “would eliminate the branch of government that represents the people and basically create a monarchy.”
Abbott has until June 20 to carry out the veto.