Members of Congress and more than 100 state legislators from across the country will be rallying in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to delay the August recess and pass federal voting rights legislation.
The legislators hail from more than 30 states, including Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.
“We came to Washington, D.C. to demand action and draw the nation’s eyes to the fight for the freedom to vote,” said Texas State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio). “Now, we are heartened to welcome over 100 state legislators from across the country to share their stories and call on Congress to save our country by passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”
The federal legislation would do away with partisan redistricting and place Texas back into preclearance, preventing it from making election law-related changes unless first cleared by federal officials.
Texas Democrats are now in their fourth and final week in Washington where they have fled to break quorum and prevent Republican legislation back home that would make it more difficult to vote.
Back in Texas, activists with the Poor People’s Campaign and Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People have just wrapped up a multi-day “March for Democracy.”
The Senate appears to be focused on wrapping up a bipartisan infrastructure bill before the August recess, which is scheduled to begin later this week and would see Senate lawmakers leave town for more than a month.
The U.S. House (which has already passed both bills) began its recess on Saturday, much to the dismay of left-wing Democrats who sought to extend a US Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium that ended July 31.
As of this year, at least 18 states have enacted laws to restrict access to the vote, according to a roundup by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute. At least 49 states, including Texas, have attempted to pass such legislation.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org