Frustrated fleebagger flies back to D.C., homesick Texans ask for care packages

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Texas State Rep. Philip Cortez, from San Antonio, returned to Washington, D.C. on Sunday. He was one of two Democrats who broke off from the group of 50 plus Texas fleebaggers last week to return to Austin. Now he’s gone back to join his fellow fleebaggers in D.C. This guy can’t make up his mind where he should be.


Cortez said he returned to Austin to help work on House Bill 3, which addresses election integrity reforms. He failed in his efforts, describing the legislation as at “a standstill”. Just as a petulant child who throws a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, Cortez picked up and went back to join his friends on their summer vacation in the nation’s capital.

Rep. Cortez said although there have been discussions on the bill, progress was lacking.

“After discussions on improving House Bill 3 have not produced progress, I rejoined my Democratic colleagues in Washington, D.C. I stand firm in my resolve to remain with the Democratic Caucus until the special session ends, and to do whatever it takes to fight for the freedom to vote for all Texans,” Cortez said in a release.

In an interview with KSAT, Cortez said “I came back strictly to have these open communication lines discussions, negotiations. Had the opportunity not been there to begin this dialogue and these discussions, I would have stayed in D.C.”

Cortez also said, “It’s important that any issue, especially a controversial one like this — that we have different tracks that we’re taking to address the issue.”

In other words, Texas House Republicans wouldn’t agree to the changes Cortez wants in the bill. Instead of just remaining in Austin and continuing to do his job, he left. He’s “fighting” for something all Texans already have – the right to vote, with the obvious exceptions of those with criminal records that exclude them from voting or those who are not legal residents of the state. The rub is that Cortez and other Democrats want some never-before-used voting procedures in Harris County (Houston) to remain in place even though the pandemic is no longer an issue. Republicans are upholding election law and disallowing 24-hour voting, drive-thru voting, and implementing new voter identification requirements on absentee voters, for example, to strengthen fair and honest elections.


When Cortez decided to return to Austin last week, his fellow fleebaggers were not happy. They don’t want to show any cracks in the coalition. However, now that Cortez has re-joined them in D.C., all is forgiven. Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner released a statement.

“In the Texas House Democratic Caucus, our unity is our strength. We welcome Rep. Phil Cortez, who is a valued member of our Caucus, back to Washington, D.C. with open arms. All 57 Democrats breaking quorum are just as firm in our commitment to seeing this through until the end as we were the day we left. We are united and unrelenting in our commitment to protect the freedom to vote.”

Remember, there are 150 members in the Texas House and 100 are needed on the floor to maintain a quorum. There are 67 Democrat House members. Of those, about 55 of them are in D.C. in order to break quorum and filibuster against the election integrity reforms that they know will be passed when a vote is taken. Resistance is futile. If all of the remaining Democrats in Austin – 10 or more – are joined by just five more, the quorum will be reinstated. Then the bill will be taken up again.

The Democrats are pledging to remain in D.C. until August 6 when the special session comes to a close. Governor Abbott vows to keep calling special sessions until the work is completed. He has also authorized the arrest of those who ran away in order to prevent a quorum, but that isn’t likely to happen.

Now, the latest act in this political circus happened yesterday, courtesy of Dallas Democrats. They are asking for donations in order to put together care packages for the fleebaggers. You can’t make this stuff up.


Ted Cruz responded.

The Democrats have been gone for two weeks, as of today. It seems longer because of the daily drama but it hasn’t been. Now the Dallas Democrats are treating them like college kids living the dorm life, or kids away at summer camp asking mom and dad to send them some goodies. Care packages for fleeing politicians? Really? They are continuing to receive their salaries and also $221 per diem for the special session. The Democrats are not paying for their hotel rooms or their transportation. Their expenses are being taken care of by donations. People like Beto O’Rourke raised another $600,000 to donate to the cause last week. Do people really need to be asked to buy them some hairspray and Dr. Pepper now?

The responses to the tweet posted by the Dallas Democrats brought about some appropriate responses – hey, that effort could be put to better use for a food bank or organizations who feed hungry people in D.C.


The Texas Democrats continue to embarrass themselves, both the ones in D.C. and the ones at home. Their juvenile actions are being mocked at home yet they appear to remain clueless. They truly believe they are heroes protecting democracy, or something.

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David Strom 6:40 PM | February 29, 2024