WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Three Texas House Democrats who flew to Washington, D.C., earlier this week to block a vote on Republicans’ elections bill have tested positive for COVID-19.
The three members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, who are vaccinated, were not identified. One of them tested positive on Friday and the other two on Saturday, according to the delegation.
“The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions. We are in touch with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work,” Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Chris Turner said in a statement.
Democratic members of the Texas House left Austin this week in order to prevent a quorum during a special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott. Since the House did not have a quorum, bills such as the controversial elections overhaul were not able to be considered, leaving the House in a standstill.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan released a statement on the news of the positive COVID-19 tests, saying, “Kim and I extend our prayers for safety and health for the members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus who tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington, D.C. My staff has reached out to Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and his epidemiology team for any additional guidance on protocols for those exposed to COVID-19 post-vaccination.”
Phelan and other legislative leaders have continued to call for the Democrats to return to Austin, so that the special session can move forward.
Abbott told CBS 11 News this week that if priority bills aren’t passed, he will continue to call special sessions.