The group of Texas Democrats who fled from the state in an attempt to subvert the democratic process spent a staggering $1.5 million on private planes and other luxury accommodations as they avoided doing their jobs by flying to Washington, D.C..
The group – many of which tested positive for COVID-19 after flying maskless on a private plane – will likely stay in the nation’s capital until at least August to avoid voting on the bills relating to voter integrity, critical race theory, and transgender athletes.
At least one of the fleeing Texas legislators now admits they made a mistake.
“Denying Republicans a quorum to enact voting restrictions will cost Texas Democrats north of $1 million, according to the state legislator leading the fundraising effort,” NBC News reported Monday.
“Walle said the pair of private charter jets the majority of legislators took to Washington cost more than $100,000, while housing, food, and other transportation costs will make up the bulk of other expenses.”
Each hotel room is estimated to be around $200 per night, but it is not clear whether each Democrat gets their own $200-per-night hotel room or whether several members of the group share.
At this point, extra rooms may also be required, given that 5 of the 50 Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19.
While the group has been insistent that the Texas taxpayers are not footing the bill for their trip, it has raised the question of who actually is footing the bill?
“The charter jets were paid for by wire transfer from the state House Democratic Caucus just hours before takeoff Monday afternoon,” according to an earlier NBC News report that referenced an unnamed caucus member. “Members and staffers have picked up costs on their personal credit cards, too, legislators said.”
“A large block of hotel rooms at a mid-range D.C. hotel was booked with a House member’s personal American Express card,” the outlet also noted based on an interview with an unnamed staffer.
Power to the People, a group led by perennial Texas legislative candidate, Beto O’Rourke, said last week that it raised a half-million dollars as a result of the Texas Democrats’ D.C. junket, but it is not immediately clear whether that money will go to repay the debt racked up by Texas Democrat legislators.
The group said only that the “money would be transferred to the legislative caucuses for official use.”
The Texas Tribune reported last week that the cost is likely to fall on the Texas House Democratic Caucus.
“That House Democratic Caucus is paying for this trip. And we are funded by our campaigns,” one member of the delegation told the outlet.
“This is a combination of us coming together to recognize that the funds that we have for our campaign are needed to make sure we could keep doing our job for Texas.”
“Representatives of the caucus also tell us the planes were donated, and the hotels are paid for by campaign and caucus accounts,” noted the Texas Tribune.
Texas Republicans pointed out, however, that a month-long legislative session will have a direct cost to taxpayers of $1 million — a direct consequence of the Democrats’ D.C. stall trip.
Author: Bruce Sloane