With Democrats Back, Texas GOP Pushes Ahead With Voting Bill

House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, gavels in with a quorum present at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Thursday Aug. 19, 2021. A standoff in Texas over new voting restrictions that gridlocked the state Capitol for 38 consecutive days ended Thursday when some Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., dropped their holdout, paving the way for Republicans to resume pushing an elections overhaul. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

(AP) — Texas Republicans are bringing back their voting bill with no changes as some Democrats returned to the Capitol for the first time since ending their holdout. It was clear during a House hearing Monday that the bill is on track to become law after Democrats’ 38-day walkout. Dozens of people showed up to testify before lawmakers to seize their last chance for public input on the the bill that will tighten voting rules in ways the GOP says will ensure election integrity and that Democrats say amounts to voter suppression for disabled people and minorities.  But even Texas residents and activists acknowledged the end of a losing battle is likely drawing near.

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