AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan is “demanding” Democrats return to the state Capitol, and is even going as far as to charter a plane that will be on standby in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Texas Democrats flew to Washington earlier this week in an effort to stop a vote on Republicans’ elections bill during a special session. It was the second time they stopped a vote on the bill after they walked out at the end of the regular legislative session in May.

The Texas House has since remained at a standstill, unable to consider any further bills, including several bipartisan measures.

Phelan on Thursday released a statement, saying the Democrats need to go back to Austin.

“In an effort to further compel House Democrats to return to the State of Texas, I am chartering a plane that will be on standby in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. I am demanding all of our colleagues in D.C. to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state’s business. The State of Texas is waiting,” the House Speaker said.

Texas Democrats responded to Phelan’s message by saying, “The Speaker should save his money. We won’t be needing a plane anytime soon, as our work to save democracy from the Trump Republicans is just getting started. We’re not going anywhere and suggest instead the speaker end this charade of a session, which is nothing more than a monthlong campaign commercial for Gov. Abbott’s re-election. The speaker should adjourn the House Sine Die.”

The special session is set to end Aug. 7. But Gov. Greg Abbott has said he would immediately call another one until bills are passed.

CBSDFW.com Staff