Texas Democratic lawmakers who left the state earlier this week in an effort to block passage of a GOP elections bill are getting financial assistance from Willie Nelson and former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeTexans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll O’Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O’Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid MORE (D-Texas) as they advocate for voting rights in the nation’s capital.
According to the Dallas Morning News, O’Rourke, whose national profile soared in 2018 as he campaigned to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz trolled on Twitter for slamming Democrats who fled Texas The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Goldman Sachs – Biden backs Cuban protesters, assails ‘authoritarian regime’ Mia Khalifa turbo-charges social media protests of Cuban government MORE (R-Texas), has helped raise more than $525,000 to cover the Texas Democratic legislators’ expenses during their stay in Washington, D.C.
Nelson has also donated $5,000 to the cause, the paper reports, while encouraging others to donate.
The group of Democratic state lawmakers is reportedly staying in a hotel near the White House and is expected to stay in D.C. for a month, racking up thousands of dollars in daily expenses.
The dozens of state Democrats fled Texas on Monday in an effort to deny Republicans the necessary quorum for a special legislative session, effectively delaying consideration of the elections bill.
Among the proposals included in the legislation that Democrats say will make it harder for people to vote in the state are measures that would put in place limits on early voting and curbside voting, bar round-the-clock voting centers and limit drop boxes.
The move by the Texas Democrats has generated applause from Democrats in Congress and the White House, while GOP lawmakers have blasted the move as a public relations stunt and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has threatened arrests for the lawmakers upon their return to the state.
The Dallas Morning News reports a number of aides with the Republican National Committee also recently demonstrated outside of the hotel where the Democratic lawmakers are staying to protest.