Texas Democrats Face Covid Outbreak and a Stalled Voting Rights Push

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Because of the outbreak, conferences and conferences that may have taken place in individual are actually on screens. Plans for at the very least the following week have been frozen.

“Everybody is scrambling because the realization is hitting that this new strain is among us and is very contagious even among people who are vaccinated,” Gina Hinojosa, a state consultant from Austin, mentioned.

On Tuesday morning, the delegation met over a video name with Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking House Democrat. Mr. Clyburn, Ms. Hinojosa mentioned, stays optimistic that the Senate can cross a federal voting rights overhaul earlier than early August, when the present particular session of the Texas Legislature will expire. (Mr. Abbott has promised to name a brand new one if Democrats don’t return by Aug. 6, when the session ends.)

Mr. Clyburn inspired the Texans, they mentioned, to push to have a key measure within the proposed John Lewis Voting Rights Act — the Justice Department’s preclearance necessities, below which plenty of states principally within the South needed to obtain federal approval earlier than altering voting legal guidelines — transferred to the extra complete For the People Act, which handed the House and stays stalled within the Senate.

A consultant for Mr. Clyburn didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Later on Tuesday, the Texas Democratic delegation, whose members are actually present process day by day virus assessments, hosted a digital information convention, reiterating the lengthy historical past of civil rights and voting rights battles and reaffirming their dedication to push Congress and the White House to cross federal voting laws.

But the members had been confined to pixelated Zoom bins, and a few of them merely had avatars seem once they spoke, or black bins with their names half obscured.

“We have a very robust agenda in terms of continued outreach to members of Congress,” mentioned State Representative Ron Reynolds, who represents the Houston space. “We’re still working diligently through the Covid protocols that we’ve already set in place.”

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