Vice President Kamala Harris hosted Texas Democratic state legislators at the White House Wednesday and called them “American patriots” for walking out of the statehouse last month to block a Republican-backed voting bill.
“You are courageous leaders, and you are American patriots,” Ms. Harris told the 16 Democrats who traveled to Washington this week.
Referring to the proposed Texas legislation, the vice president said, “What we are seeing are examples of an attempt to marginalize and take from people a right that has already been given.”
“All citizens have the right to vote, constitutionally,” Ms. Harris said. “We are not asking for the bestowal of a right. We are talking about the preservation. That is the right of citizenship. It’s that fundamental.”
The state legislators walked out of a session to stop passage of a voting bill that Democrats say would restrict voting access and discriminate against voters of color and those with disabilities.
Republicans say the bill is needed to ensure election integrity. The measure would set limits on early voting hours, ban drive-through voting, set new requirements for mail-in voting and make it a felony for public officials to send unsolicited absentee ballot applications.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has said he will call a special session to take up legislation on an overhaul of the voting process.