House Democrats arrive at a private charter terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as they leave the state to deny House Republicans a quorum during the special session of the legislature on July 12, 2021.

Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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The Texas House voted Tuesday to send law enforcement to track down Democrats who left the state a day earlier in protest of Republicans’ priority elections bill “under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

More than 50 House Democrat’s left Monday for Washington, D.C., to deny the chamber a quorum as it takes up voting restrictions and other GOP priorities in special session.

The impact of the House move is unclear since the Texas law enforcement lacks jurisdiction in the nation’s capital.

Meeting shortly after 10 a.m., the House quickly established that it lacked the two-thirds quorum required to do business, with only 80 of 150 members participating in a test vote.

Then Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, chairman of the House Administration Committee, moved to issue what is known as a “call of the House” to try to regain quorum. That motion passed 76-4. Metcalf offered another motion, asking that “the sergeant at arms, or officers appointed by him, send for all absentees … under warrant of arrest if necessary.” That motion also passed 76-4.

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