Texas House Democrats Stop Voter ID Bill

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Democrats are declaring victory in the partisan battle over tightening voter identification laws, but their 5-day filibuster left hundreds of bills dead.

And it threatened to spark a special session this summer.

But a midnight deadline Tuesday night for the voter ID bill came and went in the House, and leaders from both parties said the controversial election reform had gone down in flames.

Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, leader of the House Democrats, said the measure appears to be dead in the House this session.

Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, of San Antonio, maintained his trademark hands-off approach as midnight approached and mostly left the public relations job to Republican Rep. Larry Taylor, chairman of the House Republican Caucus.

Taylor said Democrats would pay a hefty price for killing off the voter ID legislation and inflicting "a lot of other casualties in that process."

The House also failed to pass a bill to accept $555 million in unemployment funds.

The voter identification bill is SB362.