WASHINGTON (WDM) — It’s been more than two weeks since a group of more than 50 Texas lawmakers packed their bags and left the Lone Star State for Washington, D.C. in an effort to boycott a special session and prevent new voting restrictions from being passed.
Texas Rep. Shawn Thierry tells Tasmin Mahfuz why the new Texas voting bills, HB3 and SB1, would criminalize minorities, poll workers, the elderly, and disabled communities in Texas.
When asked about her work at the U.S. Capitol and the call for passing federal legislation, Thierry said significant progress has been made with continued discussions between Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.).
Last Monday, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, signed a civil warrant for the arrest of state Rep. Philip Cortez, a San Antonio Democrat who rejoined his colleagues in Washington, D.C. According to Thierry, a House sergeant also appeared in her Austin office along with a DPS Trooper looking to arrest her after she had already left for DC. On Capitol Review, Rep. Thierry, who is also an attorney, explains the legal framework of whether or not the Texas Speaker of the House has the authority to arrest legislators. She adds that if civil arrests were to play out, she is “prepared for that.”
“I come from three generations of African-American women in my family who have fought for civil rights. My mother was the first African-American teacher to integrate one of the junior high schools in Houston, and so it did not come without strife. She was brought in with federal protection, she marched with Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Jordan, she had milkshakes poured on her head, thrown in her face when she sought to integrate the lunch counters in Houston, Texas. So I would say, I’m in good company,” said Rep. Thierry.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.