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Local representatives frustrated over House walkouts

Brooks Landgraf and other representatives are working to try and get House Democrats back to Austin to do the work voters tasked them to do: vote on important bills.

ODESSA, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott called a special session in early July. It's now towards the end of July, and nothing has been voted on so far. This all due to House Democrats walking our before House Representatives could vote on any bills.

Brooks Landgraf, one of the Permian Basin's local representatives, said that he's frustrated, especially considering that only a few more representatives are required for the House to reach quorum and to begin voting.

Landgraf said that this walkout, while somewhat similar to the walkout in May, is different this time because it came at the beginning of the special session.

"When it happened almost immediately after the special legislative session began, you know there were 27 days left that they would have to run out the clock, and that’s just a completely different scenario especially when we have other agenda items to tackle during the 30 day period," Landgraf said.

While election integrity is one of the most notable topics, there are several other items for the representatives to consider.

"Making sure that Texas retired teachers get a 13th check to help cover the cost of living, when we have 450 foster care children across the state who are living in office buildings because we can’t appropriate money to the Texas child protective services agency. So we have a lot of important business to take care of," Landgraf said.

However, even though the House can't vote on any bills, Landgraf and others are working diligently to make sure that the session continues on.

Credit: Brooks Landgraf

"What we’re doing is making the best use of this time that we have so that we have a strategy planned out for when quorum is restored, and we’re also working on calling Democrats up in Washington saying look come home, come back to Texas, and let’s do the job that the people of Texas elected us to do," Landgraf said.

All of this leading to some frustration for Landgraf because he expects future special sessions to be called if House Democrats run out the clock on the current special session.

"I expect and I think that about everybody who’s left here in the capitol expects governor Abbott to immediately call another session to begin the very next day, and so the outcome on this legislation is inevitable. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when," Landgraf said.