Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick scolded state Democrats on “America’s Newsroom,” Tuesday, after senators staged a walkout on a vote on sweeping voting legislation over the weekend, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to threaten to defund the state legislature.
DAN PATRICK: There were two parts of this bill, the first part is the Democrats are trying to just say, you know what, if we don’t like losing a vote, we’ll just leave. We’ll break quorum, meaning there aren’t enough people on the floor to bring a bill to the floor, which was Senate Bill 7 about election security and integrity. So they walked. In fact, not only did they walk off the floor with a few hours to go before the deadline, but I actually got a call from someone asking if they went to an Indian reservation, could the state police come and get them?
In other words, they were planning potentially not to come back at all. The reason for the governor’s action to say if you don’t come back at all for a special session, we’re going to stop your salaries — which are $600 a month for legislators, that’s not the key. It’s for all their staff. They’d have to fire all of their staff. And so we have a bill or rule in Texas that says if a speaker or the lieutenant governor — I control the Senate — believes Democrats or anyone would walk, we could lock the doors to keep them in or we can send the state police to get them back.
But the speaker of the House, and this is the second part of this bill, the speaker of the House told the Democrats earlier that evening he would not lock the doors, he would not send the state police. And then he didn’t set this bill until four hours to go till midnight, which made it easy for them to walk out. So I blame this on the speaker, who is a Republican, for the rules, and I blame it on the Democrats for just walking away and saying, I can’t win the vote so I’m going home. That’s not the way democracy works.
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HERE: