House Dems Create Appearance of Unity
Stronger than Ever with Lone Wolf Back
July 25, 2021
A Democratic state lawmaker returned to the loving arms of colleagues in Washington D.C. on Sunday night after calling off an attempt to forge a compromise on a controversial voting bill with Texas House Republicans who are vowing not to negotiate.
State Rep. Philip Cortez of San Antonio acknowledged in a post on social media that a solo search for a middle ground on the elections measure had been fruitless during a long weekend back in Texas.
"Last week I went back to Texas with a goal of improving the restrictive elections bill," Cortez tweeted late tonight. "After discussions with Republican leadership didn’t yield any substantive results, I have rejoined my Democratic colleagues in Washington D.C. to continue this fight on this front."
Cortez's curious emergence on the House floor late last week set the ruling party's hopes up for a fall - creating the impression that the Democrats' solidarity was starting to unravel in the nation's capital city with spirits weakened and activities limited by an outbreak of COVID-19 in their ranks.
But the Cortez peacekeeping mission had the makings of an orchestrated publicity stunt more than a sincere attempt to strike a deal with GOP leaders and lawmakers who've been content so far to wait as long as it takes before a sufficient number of House Democrats are back for a quorum and vote on the elections measure.
GOP Speaker Dade Phelan's team appeared to be taking the Cortez consensus quest seriously despite assertions by fellow Democrats who he'd left behind in Washington D.C. that he'd broken ranks with them and had no authority to represent anyone but himself at the bargaining table.
State Rep. Andrew Murr - a Junction Republican who's the chief summer session sponsor on the election integrity bill - took the time to meet with Cortez and promised to consider the changes that he'd proposed to the proposal.
Capitol Inside raised the specter on the day of Cortez's reappearance at the statehouse that it could be a ploy to set the Republicans' hopes up for a fall that would hurt morale while the Democrats in Washington D.C. appear stronger and more unified in the public eye after suriving the first major threat to their united front.