Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin asked the U.S. Capitol sergeants-at-arms to assist Lone Star State officials in the extradition of state Democratic legislators who fled the state to Washington, D.C. to prevent Republicans from voting on an election integrity bill this week.
“I ask that you fully cooperate with the Texas State Police, the Texas Rangers, and the Sergeant at Arms of the Texas House and Senate in any request for extradition and remanding of Texas legislators who abdicated their responsibility by relocating to the United States Capitol while the legislature is still in session,” Babin wrote in a letter to House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Karen Gibson.
Texas state Republicans voted on Tuesday to send law enforcement to D.C. to find the 58 Democratic legislators who flew to D.C. to obstruct the GOP-backed election bills.
They had tried to prevent a quorum, or the necessary number of members present for the chamber to hold a vote. However, the taxpayer-subsidized junket to schmooze with their Democrat counterparts in Congress failed to prevent the Texas Senate from approving the election-integrity measure in an 18–4 vote Tuesday.
The state Democrats said they chose to hide out in D.C. to pressure Senate Democratic leadership to pass S.1, the companion bill to H.R. 1, which would override any voting reforms passed by Texas.
Babin noted in his letter that Texas and the U.S. Congress have the “primary authority” to “take action to compel attendance at legislative sessions.”
“The Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies in the Washington area work every day to assist with extraditing fugitives and criminals from other jurisdictions, and this situation deserves no less,” he said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already threatened to arrest the fugitive state Democrats when they do return to the state.
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” he said this week.