Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Says Democrats Will Be Arrested and GOP Will Work on Passing Voting Restrictions

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) told Fox News that the Democrats who fled the state to block a bill that would have tightened voter restrictions in the GOP-controlled state.

Patrick expressed confidence that the matter would be resolved soon.

“They can’t hold out forever. They have families back home. They have jobs back home. And pretty soon, their wives or husbands will say, ‘Hey, it’s time to get back. Back home.’ And when they get home for a special session, they’ll be arrested and brought to the Capitol and we will pass these bills.”

On Tuesday, the Texas House authorized arrest warrants for the Democrats who left the state.

“Members, the sergeant-at-arms and the officers appointed by him are directed to send for all absentees whose attendance is not excused for the purpose of securing and maintaining their attendance — under warrant of arrest, if necessary,” House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), said from the floor.

House rules allow lawmakers who are not present at the Capitol to be arrested and brought to the chamber by the sergeant-at-arms “or an officer appointed by the sergeant-at-arms.” The Democrats who left the state––and denied the legislation a quorum––have escaped the jurisdiction of Texas law enforcement by crossing state lines.

The news that the House had authorized arrest warrants came after Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) threatened to arrest Democrats upon their return and promised to “continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year” in order to pass the voter restrictions.