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Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan is seeking serious consequences for his Democratic colleagues who left the state to avoid key legislative work. Phelan has initiated a civil arrest warrant for Rep. Philip Cortez after Cortez flew back to Washington after briefly returning to Texas for talks regarding a Republican-supported election bill, according to The Washington Post. Two weeks ago, Texas House Democrats flew to D.C. in order to prevent a quorum necessary for the lawmaking body to debate and vote. The Democrats flew on a private charter jet maskless, and six of them later tested positive for coronavirus. Phelan said in a statement that Cortez “has irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber” and “represented to me and his fellow members that he wanted to work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas,” according to The Texas Tribune, an online news outlet. But Cortez, whose district office is in San Antonio, insists that he flew back to Washington because the Republicans in Austin were being stubborn on the legislation — as if they were being the non-cooperative ones.

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