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Texas House Republican Caucus calls Democrats leaving state during special session 'political theatre'

The group held a press conference to discuss the special session after most of the Texas House Democrats left the state in an effort to break quorum.

AUSTIN, Texas — Republicans in the Texas House Republican Caucus called actions from their democratic colleagues “political theatre” at a press conference Tuesday. The group held the conference to discuss the special session after most of the Texas House Democrats left the state in an effort break quorum.

Republican leaders said their colleagues have “potentially killed legislation” they claim would benefit Texans across the state. The caucus referenced topics on Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda for the special session including property tax relief, children in the foster care system, and benefits for retired teachers.

The Texas State Senate passed Senate Bill 7 Tuesday morning, which gives retired teachers and staff a “13th check” or one-time supplemental payment of benefits.

“We’ve all had jobs that we didn’t like before, but the difference between these Democrats and the millions of hard-working Texans is that these people are contributing to our economy can not grab six-pack, jump on a private plane, leave work announced and still expect to be paid,” Chairman of the Caucus Representative Jim Murphy, who represents Houston, said.

The State House of Representatives did not meet quorum this morning when it gaveled in Tuesday morning. It then voted to have the sergeant at arms send for the at least 51 missing Democrats.

Murphy said House Republicans denounce their colleagues' decision “to flee the state.”

“We want our colleagues back,” Murphy said. “We respect their work. We respect their opinions. We want to embrace them and work with [them], but we have work to do.”

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