Texas Democrats who dramatically blocked a restrictive voting bill last month will meet with Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House next week, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News on Thursday.
The meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, comes as Democrats face significant hurdles in passing federal electoral reforms in a heavily divided Senate.
Texas state lawmakers will discuss voting rights and the For the People Act, the source said. Legislation passed by the House would create a federal floor on access to voting rights and restrictive election bills like the one proposed by Republicans in Texas.
The meeting underscores how critical federal action is to state Democrats across the country, many of whom have struggled to fight restrictive voting bills put forward by Republican majorities in state legislatures. President Joe Biden recently appointed Harris to lead the administration’s efforts to protect voting rights.
“To break the quorum and leave the State Chamber is like getting down on our knees and asking the federal government to intervene,” said State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat who will be attending the meeting.
Republicans have introduced and advanced hundreds of restrictive election bills this year in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s stolen election lie. At least 22 bills with restrictive voting provisions were passed in mid-May, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, while at least 61 were still making progress in state legislatures.
At the end of the legislative session, Texas Democrats used every parliamentary tool at their disposal to defeat a bill that would add new election restrictions in the state, ultimately staging a walkout to prevent the holding of elections. a vote just before midnight.
Texas Republicans have pledged to reintroduce and pass the failed election bill later this summer.