WATCH LIVE: Voting rights advocates to speak outside Texas Capitol after Democrat exodus, GOP threats for arrests

News conference at 1:30 p.m. will be livestreamed in this article

FILE - This June 1, 2021, file photo shows the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - This June 1, 2021, file photo shows the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(Update: The news conference is over. Please check back for more livestreams on KSAT.com).

Voting rights advocates will speak outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday afternoon as tensions mount over the GOP elections overhaul bill, which led to the exodus of Democrats in an attempt to block it.

Organizers will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. and it will be livestreamed in this article. Delays are possible; if there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.

It will take place moments after the Texas House voted the authorization to find more than 50 Texas Democrats and bring them back “under warrant of arrest if necessary.”

The group fled from Texas to Washington D.C. on Monday in an attempt to block the passage of a controversial elections bill, which opponents say would make it harder to vote in Texas. By leaving the chamber, they broke the quorum needed — again — to take up the bill.

It is unclear what action could be taken, though, as state troopers do not have jurisdiction beyond Texas.

Earlier Tuesday, Democrats held a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol. They acknowledged that they can’t stay out of the Lone Star State forever, but urged President Joe Biden and Congress to act at the federal level.

Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, center left, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, joined at left by Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, welcome Democratic members of the Texas legislature at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The lawmakers left Austin hoping to deprive the Texas Legislature of a quorum the minimum number of representatives who have to be present for the body to operate, as they try to kill a Republican bill making it harder to vote in the Lone Star State. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Biden is expected to speak on voting rights Tuesday afternoon. His remarks will be also livestreamed on KSAT.com.

The Democrats’ Texas exit on Monday marked the second revolt against Gov. Greg Abbott and the GOP, forcing yet another showdown over voting rights.

In late May, Democrats successfully staged a walkout in the state House of Representatives to block the passage of the voting bill on the last day of the legislative session. After that move, Abbott called for a special session.

Abbott said that he would simply keep calling special sessions if necessary.

State Rep. Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio, on Monday spoke with KSAT as he sat on a plane to Washington D.C. and gave insight on their decision to bolt.

“It’s important that we preserve the rights of all Texans to have access to the ballot,” Cortez said. “So this is important that we take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that no bills, no laws are passed that in any way, prohibit or discourage people from coming out to vote.”

Democratic lawmakers have said the GOP’s elections overhaul bill would make it harder for young people, people of color and people with disabilities to vote.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.