AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Democratic resistors in D.C. are continuing to make progress on behalf of Texans and people across the country — keeping the pressure on and the fight for voting rights in the national spotlight. Today, a delegation of Texas Democratic lawmakers had a constructive meeting with Senator Joe Manchin to push the fight for federal voting rights protections forward. The lawmakers have also continued to strengthen the voting rights coalition by meeting virtually and in person Wednesday and Thursday with other key partners, including Senator Sherrod Brown, the Texas Democratic Congressional Caucus, and labor leaders including the AFL-CIO and the Texas Retired Teachers Association.
Faced with a united Texas Democratic caucus that is not slowing down, Republicans are taking increasingly desperate approaches to their communications — making paper-thin claims that Democrats are shirking their duties as lawmakers. Texas Republicans should know all about that, since their habit of abandoning their jobs and their constituents has left Texans out in the cold on numerous occasions. As Democrats continue to advocate tirelessly for Texans, here are just a few times Republicans refused to do their jobs and abandoned Texans:
- From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, disgraced Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans refused to do their jobs, take the pandemic seriously, and keep Texans safe — going so far as to sue cities for implementing stronger protections, and leaving communities of color, especially in South Texas, to be disproportionately ravaged. 53,000 Texans have died because of this Republican negligence.
- Republicans have done nothing to help more Texans get healthcare — and blocked Medicaid expansion, proposed by Democrats, in state budget negotiations over multiple legislative sessions — including in 2021, more than one year into the devastating pandemic. Because of Republicans, Texas remains the most uninsured state in the country, with more than 5 million Texans forced to go without the healthcare they need.
- During Texas’ spring legislative session, Republicans not only blocked healthcare accessibility — they also stopped retired teachers from being able to get the support they need, deserve, and have earned. In the spring, Democrats put forward a bill to push a 13th check to retired teachers, with 96% of Democratic legislators either co-authoring or sponsoring the bill. However, House Republican leadership refused to sign on and let the bill die in committee — choosing not to prioritize supporting Texas teachers.
- Ah yes — and don’t get us started on February’s power outage crisis. In this Republican-made disaster, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans abandoned Texans in the cold and dark — with our embarrassment of a senator, Ted Cruz, jumping on a plane to Cancun during the worst winter storm his constituents had faced in decades. Abbott’s failure to lead cost more than 700 Texans their lives. This is beyond shameful.
- Adding insult to injury — and all but guaranteeing a future disaster — it’s been six months since February’s crisis, and failed and flailing Gov. Greg Abbott has still taken no meaningful action to fix the grid and make sure another catastrophe like this doesn’t strike again.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“It seems Texas Republicans are not familiar with the saying, ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’ The one thing Republicans consistently do for Texans is abandon us. Whether it’s leaving us to die during the pandemic, leaving us to fend for ourselves during the winter storm, stopping us from getting affordable healthcare, or refusing to fix our grid, Texas Republicans have a sterling track record of consistently abandoning their jobs and their constituents.
“Republicans could learn a thing or two about leadership from our state Democratic lawmakers — who are working around the clock in D.C. and leading the national fight to protect our most basic constitutional right. I’m beyond grateful to the Texas Democratic resistors in D.C. who continue to hold the line for voting rights. Texas Democrats are in this fight for the long haul, and we will do whatever it takes.”