Texas Democrats are 'lying' about voting rights bill, positive COVID tests a 'gimmick,' state rep says
He suggested the news that three of the lawmakers testing positive for COVID-19 is a 'gimmick'
FIRST ON FOX: Texas State. Rep. Briscoe Cain slammed the dozens of Democrats who fled the state capital earlier this week and argued they left purely for political reasons.
"It’s disingenuous, they’re lying and they are playing games with the people of Texas," Cain, a Republican and chair of the House Elections Committee, told Fox News.
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"Anyone that reads it," Cain said about the controversial voting rights bill that prompted the lawmakers to flee to Washington, D.C. earlier this week citing claims that the bill would suppress voting rights, "realizes it doesn’t criminalize mistakes, it expands voting access, it expands hours, and protects our elections. That’s it."
Cain said that ultimately Democrats will have no choice but to return to Texas and because of their "bad faith" actions there is "no reason to negotiate with them" and he hopes the legislature can pass an even stronger bill when they return.
Cain claimed that at least three of the fleeing lawmakers privately admitting that there was no voter suppression in the bill but leaving the capital anyway and publicly stating that there was.
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When the Democrats flew in a private plane to Washington, D.C., they were widely criticized on social media for taking a group photograph on the plane without masks, which many felt was hypocritical given their public statements about the importance of masks and the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, especially given that federal regulations still require commercial air passengers to wear masks on planes.
Cain agreed with those criticisms and suggested they had violated the law multiple times on the trip.
"My reading of federal transportation law and mask mandates is that the mask rule applies to private charters regardless of whether you’re vaccinated. Humorously, a local ordinance in Washington, D.C. also prohibits a person from importing an alcoholic beverage into the District of Columbia without a permit."
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The lawmakers were photographed with alcoholic beverages as they traveled to Washington, D.C. which also prompted criticism on social media.
Cain responded with skepticism to the news Saturday that three of the members of the group of Democrats had tested positive for the coronavirus suggesting it could be a political "gimmick" to stay in Washington longer.
"I say prove it," Cain said. "I think it’s an excuse to avoid coming back. They want a reason to do a 14-day quarantine; they don’t want to come back and do their jobs. If they really have it, prove it."
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It is unclear when the group of Democrats is planning to return to Texas amid growing frustration from Republicans. Earlier this week, Texas’ Republican House Speaker, Dade Phelan, announced he was chartering a plane in Washington in order for Democrats to return.
"I am demanding all of our colleagues in D.C. to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state's business," Speaker Dade Phelan said in a statement. "The State of Texas is waiting."