GOP lawmakers exploded at Texas state Democrats on Tuesday for appearing in person for a House hearing on voting rights—days after a COVID outbreak amid their ranks. More than 50 Democrats fled to D.C. on a mask-free private jet two weeks ago to thwart a voter suppression bill but at least seven later tested positive for COVID. “I am truly puzzled why you all as witnesses have chosen to be here... You cut and ran to D.C. and you bought COVID with you and you infected people while you were here at the Capitol,” Rep. Scott Franklin (R-GA) fumed, adding that most lawmakers just “suck it up” when faced with a losing vote. “We don’t act like a bunch of spoiled cowards running away and refusing to vote when it’s clear we don’t have the numbers to get our way.”
In a debate over proposed voter ID rules, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) asked if Texans are required to show ID to get on a private jet. “I wouldn’t know, I’ve never flown on one,” she quipped. Franklin said that, rather than being at the hearing, the lawmakers should be “flying back to Texas in coach like the rest of us and unlike the private jet you used to get here, they’re gonna make you wear a mask.” Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) accused Franklin of defaming the Texas lawmakers with his “coward” taunt, and committee chair Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called it intimidation and abuse.