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After Verification, Texas House Achieves Quorum For Second Time Since Thursday

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - For the second time since Thursday, August 19, the Texas House achieved a quorum.

After results were confirmed by a verification roll call, it was determined 100 members were on the House floor.

The House Journal indicates 13 Democrats showed up on the House floor a short time later.

It comes after House Democrats broke quorum at the end of the regular session of the Texas Legislature, blocking the elections integrity bill.

Fifty-seven of the Democrats flew to Washington, DC last month to again block the legislation during the first special session called by Governor Greg Abbott.

After the House achieved a quorum Monday, the House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner of Grand Prairie issued a statement saying, "By maintaining our quorum break for so long, we brought national attention to the issue and in so doing, brought home victories for voters in Texas and across the country. As soon as tomorrow, the U.S. House is expected to take a vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and we are grateful for our colleagues who have again travelled to our nation's capital to support Congress' actions."

Democratic State Representative Jasmine Crockett of Dallas remains in Washington, DC and away from the Texas Capitol in her ongoing effort to try to block the elections integrity bill. "No one can tell me that what we're doing is morally wrong. It's morally right."

Because the House achieved a quorum for the first time Thursday, a House committee was able to hold a hearing on that legislation Monday.

Testimony from the public continued into the evening.

Crockett criticized the Democrats who returned last week. "I think it was the secrecy element of it. That really bothered most of us. The Republicans knew that my colleagues were returning here. My colleagues didn't tell us, it felt like a complete betrayal. We're all supposed to be on the same team."

More Democrats had said they would return to the House.

Crockett said, "There were those who said, hey, I've got to go back if a quorum is established. That was understood, and those people made it clear, and they explained why. So I don't have any issues with that."

The Texas Republican Party Chair Matt Rinaldi wants Speaker Dade Phelan to come down harder on Democrats. "If they break quorum, again, they should be arrested and brought back to the capitol chambers. In the meantime, we should also put incentives into the House rules to make sure that Democrats don't break quorum in the future."

Rinaldi said Democrats who Chair House Committees and broke quorum should lose those positions, and that the House should change the rules so that any committee chair who racks up 15 or more unexcused absences automatically loses their position.

He said Texas is one of a few states in which the Speaker appoints members of the minority party as committee chairs. "Republicans were elected by a majority of Texans on a platform which included election integrity. If Democrats think they should be in leadership, they shouldn't be appointed by Republicans, they should win an election."

Crockett said, "Basically, they're saying, if you have a chairmanship position, it's a matter of choose your position or choose the people and no one should have to make that choice."

Changes made to the rules have to be considered and approved by committee, then the full House.

House Committees will meet Tuesday, August 24, to discuss bills addressing supplemental appropriations for border security and public education.

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