Texas Democrats' escape to DC will cost $1.5 million, legislator says

The Democratic lawmakers insist no taxpayer money was used.

Updated: July 19, 2021 - 4:41pm

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Texas state Democrats will spend more than $1 million to keep up their trip in Washington D.C. in their attempt to stop their Republican colleagues from passing voting integrity bills, according to one lawmaker.

State Rep. Armando Walle told NBC News Monday that it will cost approximately $1.5 million to stay in Washington D.C. until the special session of the Texas legislature ends on Aug. 7.

Last week, more than 50 Democratic Texas legislators from both the Senate and the House of Representatives fled the state to deny their Republican colleagues a quorum, the number of people needed for the legislature to do business.

Walle said the pair of private jets the politicians took cost more than $100,000, and said that housing, food, and other transportation would make up the rest of the cost. Walle said that no taxpayer's money was spent and that the jets were paid for by the state House Democratic Caucus.

The politicians fled the state in the hopes of blocking Republican-backed voter integrity laws, which aim to add new identification requirements for absentee and mail-in-voting and ban some early voting.

Walle said that all other payments made by members while in the nation's Capital would be reimbursed, such as the large block of hotel rooms at a mid-range D.C. hotel, where the members are staying.