AUSTIN, Texas - Two weeks ago, state representatives in the Texas House of Representatives walked out before a vote on SB-7, killing the bill...for now.
Gina Hinojosa was among that group. "As the minority party in Texas there is only so long we can keep this bad legislation from passing," said Hinojosa, (D) Austin.
She is among 10 people, who received an invitation from Vice-President Kamala Harris. "Ten House and Senate members have received an invitation from Vice-President Kamala Harris to talk with her at a round table on voting rights next week," said Hinojosa.
The invitation said: "This group blocked the passage of legislation that would make it significantly harder for the people of Texas to vote."
The bill tightens mail-in voting requirements, and limits early voting hours, including on Sundays to name a few provisions. "Even the Republicans who carried the bill are disavowing parts of it and claiming they didn't know these bad provisions were in their own bill, it is so bad," she said.
Hinojosa said she hopes to encourage the US Congress to pass federal legislation that would oversee voting changes. It is named The John Lewis Voting Rights Act. "A provision in there that would require pre-clearance of any changes states make to our voting laws, pre-clearance from the justice department," she said.
However, some Republicans believe this invitation from the VP is inappropriate.
"It’s really unfortunate the democrats have made this a controversial issue. It's even more unfortunate that the White House is lauding such inappropriate action by the Democrats," said James Dickey, former chairperson of the Texas Republican Party.
Dickey believes the bill is about election integrity and security.. and feels the Democrats' move was divisive. "The Democrats have consistently, sadly set a precedent for themselves of not participating and breaking the House rules whenever they aren't able to get their way," he said.
The group often consists of seven house members and three senators.
The group will go to Washington on June 16.