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Texas Gov. Abbott calls for another special session of legislature, pressuring AWOL Democrats

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Thursday that he will convene a second special session of the state legislature on Saturday, following through on a threat to continuously call the legislature into session until the rogue Democratic lawmakers who fled the state return home and get to work.

"The Texas Legislature achieved a great deal during the 87th Legislative Session, and they have a responsibility to finish the work that was started," Abbott said in a statement. "I will continue to call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, and pass other important items that Texans demand and deserve. Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State."

Last month, after Abbott called for a special session to pass a Republican-supported election security bill, more than 50 state House Democrats fled to Washington, D.C., to block the bill by denying the House a quorum. They have mostly remained in the nation's capital, lobbying for a federal voting bill that would prevent the GOP-supported reforms, though two Democrats have reportedly gone on vacation to Portugal while the rest of the conference remains in D.C.

The current special session is scheduled to end Friday. According to the Houston Chronicle, some of the Texas Democrats had planned on returning home once the special session ended, but by calling for another special session, Abbott has put pressure on these Democrats. If they return while the legislature is in session, they will be unable to stop the Republican majority from passing their election security bill, as well as 16 other priorities Abbott outlined in his announcement.

Republican lawmakers are calling on their Democratic colleagues to come home.

"We call on the Texas Democrats to put an end to their domestic and global jet-setting, return to Texas and do the job they were elected to do," state House Republican Caucus Chairman Rep. Jim Murphy said.

The Democrats have so far shown no signs that they will return. State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D) told the Chronicle that "the determination to fight is there," but would not say what the Democrats plan on doing next.

In addition to the election security bill, Abbott wants the legislature to take up a ban on K-12 school mask and vaccine mandates, additional funding for border security efforts, a bill prohibiting men from competing on women's sports teams, restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs, and a bill banning critical race theory from being taught in schools.

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