Texas House speaker demands Dems return home, requests they refuse pay for time in D.C.

AUSTIN, TX - JULY 13: Speaker of the Texas House U.S. Rep. Dade Phelan (R-TX) (C) listens to U.S. Rep. Will Metcalf (R-TX) (L) move to issue a call of the House to try to regain a quorum on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas. The Texas House voted to arrest Democrats who fled the state to deny a quorum in protest of Republicans' controversial voting bill. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Speaker of the Texas House U.S. Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Texas) (C) listens to U.S. Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Texas) (L) move to issue a call of the House to try to regain a quorum on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 2:00 PM PT – Friday, July 16, 2021

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) has put pressure on Texas Democrats to come back home. In a statement released on Thursday, Phelan announced he is chartering a plane to wait for the Democrats in D.C. on Saturday in order to bring them back to Austin.

The speaker said they must return to do their jobs, adding “the state of Texas is waiting.” However, Texas Democrats have said they are not going anywhere, claiming they are “saving democracy from Trump Republicans.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) applauded the lawmakers’ efforts this week, calling them courageous and labeling their escape from Austin “all-American.”

Phelan has also called on every lawmaker who fled to refuse pay for the days they were absent. The Democrats’ political stunt comes as Republicans in the Texas legislature are trying to pass election integrity laws in the state ahead of the 2022 midterms.

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