Texas state Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos left Texas on Monday with about 50 other House Democrats to prevent the quorum needed for a vote on legislation that would expand voting restrictions. Democrats are continuing similar efforts they made during the regular legislative session to prevent the passage of Republican-backed voting bills.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will call as many special sessions as needed to pass voting legislation.
Ramos spoke with Texas Standard about leaving the state, and how she and other House Democrats plan to resist Republican-led voting bills.
On leaving the state via chartered plane for Washington:
“I can’t tell you whether the leadership had planned it for weeks or not. I know we were just notified, I think, Sunday night. So we were just told to be ready, and we were.”
On looking to Democrats in Congress for support:
“We brought the fight to D.C. to ensure that we have the backing and the support at the federal level. … We’re here to speak to different congressmen and women, for them to pass the federal Voting Rights Act. … Fortunately we do have the Democrats at the federal level that we’re hoping to continue to push and advocate for the 28 million Texans so that they can advance federal voting rights legislation to help protect those individuals who are standing for hours at the polls to express their vote, their voice.”
Texas Democrats won’t stop fighting for your rights, especially when it comes to the vote.
I’m joining my colleagues and heading down to DC today to make it clear that we need comprehensive voting rights protections NOW!
— Representative Ana-Maria Ramos (@Ramos4Texas) July 12, 2021
On Gov. Abbott’s perceived priorities:
“That to him is important, that he’s willing to call as many special sessions as necessary to trample on people’s voting rights. But when people were dying during the pandemic, he didn’t bat an eye; he didn’t care to call a special session. We advocated, we asked for that when the El Paso murders happened; we asked for a special session that week so we could pass sensible gun laws. He didn’t care about that either. So, make no mistake about it: this man and his party don’t care about the people, they care about the power. And they will stop at nothing to keep a grasp of that.”
On how long she plans to be out of state:
“As long and as necessary as it takes, we will be here.”