Texas Democrats flee Austin: ‘We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol’ – live

Why Texas Democrats are fleeing the state

Texas Democratic lawmakers are fleeing their state in a desperate bid to stop the Republican-run legislature from passing laws they say will suppress the vote of people of color.

The extreme move is set to be the latest and wildest escalation in a fight over voting rights in the state. Here are the key things to know:

Why are they fleeing?

Texas Republicans are intent on a radical overhaul of voting laws in the state in ways that many Democrats and civil rights experts say will directly affect voters of color in a state that is becoming more Democratic. The laws include outlawing 24-hour polling places, banning ballot drop boxes and empowering partisan poll watchers.

What is the impact?

With the Democrats gone, Republicans are denied a quorum to pass their electoral reform package and Democrats in the state – riding a wave of praise for their walkout last time – have shown they will go to extremes to defend voting rights. But the move also guarantees a serious political face-off whose endgame is uncertain.

Where will they go?

Dozens of lawmakers were expected to fly to Washington DC, where they are expected to continue to advocate for federal voting rights legislation.

More questions answered here:


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Afternoon summary

Texas governor responds to Democratic breakaways

A Biden administration plan to force the rapid uptake of renewable energy would swiftly cut planet-heating emissions and save hundreds of thousands of lives from deadly air pollution, a new report has found amid growing pressure on the White House to deliver a major blow against the climate crisis.

Of various climate policy options available to the new administration, a clean energy standard would provide the largest net benefits to the US, according to the report, in terms of costs as well as lives saved.

A clean energy standard would require utilities to ratchet up the amount of clean energy, such as solar and wind, they use, through a system of incentives and penalties. The Biden administration hoped to include the measure in its major infrastructure bill but it was dropped after compromise negotiations with Republicans.

But the new report, conducted by a consortium of researchers from Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Syracuse University, suggests it would be the most effective tool in reaching a White House goal of 80% renewable energy use by 2030. Joe Biden has said he wants all electricity to be renewable by 2035.

‘We are now taking the fight to our nation’s Capitol,’ Texas Democrats say after fleeing Austin


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