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State Democrats At US Capitol Discussing Ways To Stop Texas Elections Bill: 'We Need Their Help Now'

WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - After walking out of the Texas House late last month to kill a Republican elections integrity bill, some state Democratic lawmakers went to the U.S. Capitol to plot their next move to stop such legislation.

During a late afternoon news conference outside the Capitol Tuesday, June 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply criticized the Texas elections integrity bill and credited Texas Democrats' efforts to kill it.

"This is an all-out assault. It's just really hard to understand how they could cook up so many various ways to come at a person's right to vote," she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Democratic state lawmakers from Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott has said he will call the Texas legislature back for a special session so the Republican majority can pass an elections bill.

State Representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus said during the news conference that the Texas legislation would make it harder for American citizens to cast their ballots.

"We need their help now because the Republican attempt to suppress the vote in Texas and we see it playing out across the country, is not going to stop," he said.

The House has already passed the measure, which would standardize absentee voting, would allow people to use a sworn statement instead of an ID to vote, and require states to provide same day registration.

But the measure isn't going anywhere in the Senate yet because Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia doesn't support it.

Texas Democrats met with his staffers Tuesday.

State Representative of Fort Worth, Chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus said, "We came here because the future of Texas voting depends on action from Congress. We are grateful for the measures that have been filed and that are being pushed."

Texas Republicans though say the reforms are needed to prevent fraud, even though it is not widespread, and to standardize rules statewide and keep counties from making up their own rules.

They said Harris County did just that with provisions allowing for 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting.

State Representative Stephanie Klick, Republican of North Richland Hills, and an author of an early version of the bill in the House said the state should have protections in the law to make sure only qualified citizens vote. "I think most of the time when they talk about suppression, they are wanting no reforms whatsoever. They always shout voter suppression whenever there is a elections bill, whether there's true suppression or not."

Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey of Fort Worth said that the Texas legislation would hurt the people fueling the state's population growth. "This bill silences their voices. We need to help them on Capitol Hill. They need federal protection right now."

The Texas Democrats continue their meetings Wednesday morning, June 16 when they will meet with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House.

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