Using their party's distrust of American elections encouraged by former President Donald Trump, Republican legislatures across the country have introduced or even passed a slate of new elections laws designed to limit access to the ballot box, especially in communities of color.
Texas is the latest state to consider a voter suppression bill, with House Bill 3. The legislation would require photo identification in order to vote, while also banning officials from sending absentee ballots that weren't explicitly requested.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott called the legislature into special session last week, prompting House Democrats to leave the state in order to deny House Republicans a quorum. Special sessions can last a month at most, and these Democrats are hoping to run out the clock.
The Lone Star State's House Democrats flew to Washington instead, where they urged Congress to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation, a move destined to fail as long as the Senate filibuster remains in the way.
Significantly, these Democrats met with moderate Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a strong supporter of the filibuster. Manchin, ahead of the meeting, wouldn't answer if he'd consider a waive of the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation ahead of the 2022 midterms.
But Texas Dems aren't done shaking things up in D.C.
State Representative James Talarico appeared on the conservative Fox News network where he put host Pete Hegseth through the wringer, pressuring him to definitively state whether or not he believes the election was "stolen" from former President Donald Trump.
Watch the exchange below.
I just went on Fox News and called out Donald Trump’s big lie. I’ll always tell the truth and protect your right t… https://t.co/IwgAT1HFsb— James Talarico (@James Talarico) 1626223493.0
"You have made a lot of money personally and you've enriched a lot of corporations with advertising and you've enriched a lot of corporations with advertising by getting on here and spewing lies and conspiracy theories to folks who trust you, so what I'm asking you to do is to tell your voters that Donald Trump lost the election in 2020. Can you admit that?"
Hegseth attempted to steer the conversation back to defending voter ID laws, prompting Talarico to respond:
"Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020? Can you answer the question? Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020? Is this an uncomfortable question for you?"
Like many right-wing outlets, Fox News repeatedly promoted the lie that Democrats worked with election companies to facilitate widespread fraud that "stole" the election from Trump. This resulted in multiple lawsuits from election software companies Dominion and Smartmatic against the network and a slew of its hosts for defamation.
People praised Talarico for putting Hegseth in the hot seat.
🤣🤣🤣 “Is this an uncomfortable question for you?” Woof. Owned by a young JFK. Need a pick me up? Watch this: https://t.co/FwJLP9BrEu— MJ Hegar (@MJ Hegar) 1626227013.0
Hey @jamestalarico, You dropped this … 👑 #txlege https://t.co/dQf1Zlkgec— Rebecca Marques (@Rebecca Marques) 1626225628.0
Big respect to @jamestalarico for actually going on Fox News 🤯🤯🤯 https://t.co/te3z412LFH— 𝐅𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐳 𝐒. 𝐀𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫 (@𝐅𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐳 𝐒. 𝐀𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫) 1626226627.0
Love this! You tell 'em Talarico! https://t.co/yEyRuzrzCW— Brenda Panella-Dominguez (@Brenda Panella-Dominguez) 1626229595.0
Well done James! https://t.co/ZaVC3BYvrY— Devin Nunes Cattle Dog (@Devin Nunes Cattle Dog) 1626228688.0
People also noticed that Hegseth refused to answer the question.
Fox News host Pete Hegseth refuses to acknowledge that Donald Trump lost the election https://t.co/7orAcYFVpT— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1626218541.0
Fox's Pete Hegseth won't answer: "Did Donald Trump lose the election?" That + much more in the newest edition of… https://t.co/PEbvEnFB2t— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter) 1626260529.0
Hegseth could not answer the BIG LIE question https://t.co/evg8wH5JkS— Vegas realist (@Vegas realist) 1626232749.0
Governor Greg Abbott says the Texas Democrats will be arrested once they return to the Lone Star State.