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Home | Tag Archives: texas congressional delegation

Tag Archives: texas congressional delegation

Every member of Texas’ Congressional Delegation Asked to Weigh in on President Trump’s Proposed Border Wall, Ongoing Government Shutdown.

WASHINGTON — Members of Texas’ congressional delegation appear to agree on one thing: They want the government shutdown to end.

But when asked by The Texas Tribune and other news outlets whether the stalemate over President Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall is worth federal employees and contractors missing their paychecks, they’re divided along party lines — save for one border lawmaker, Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd.

Apart from the congressman from Helotes, Republicans reached by the Tribune aren’t breaking ranks with Trump; they blame Democrats for not negotiating with the president.

Democrats, meanwhile, say they won’t vote on any bill that holds federal workers’ paychecks hostage.

Several lawmakers did not respond to multiple Tribune requests for comment.

200,000 federal workers live in Texas.

Should the U.S. government finish the wall along the country’s southern border? Is the stalemate over it worth federal workers and contractors missing their paychecks?
Sen. John Cornyn

Unclear

“There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for the entire border. It’s quite a diverse geography. “

“We could solve this problem in 30 minutes if people were willing to negotiate in good faith and vote for many of the same policies that they’ve already voted for in the past.”

Sen. Ted Cruz

Yes

A spokesperson replied to the wall question with a simple answer: “Yes.”

“Now, they should be paid today. [New York Sen. Chuck] Schumer needs to end this shutdown.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Rep. Louie Gohmert

R Dist. 1

Yes

“Secure the border so the drugs quit coming and we don’t lose 70,000 more lives a year and Mexico becomes the top 10 economy because we get out the corruption. That’s compassion.”

“[Let the shutdown run] until hell freezes over. Because we owe it to our country.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw

Rep. Dan Crenshaw

R Dist. 2

Yes

“The president’s proposal — a mix of physical barriers, technology and more Border Patrol agents — is one that benefits everyone.”

Did not comment

Rep. Van Taylor

Rep. Van Taylor

R Dist. 3

Did not comment

Did not comment

Rep. John Ratcliffe

Yes

“The border hasn’t been safe in a long time. This is a humanitarian crisis that has been going on for a long time and it has gotten worse.”

“In political terms we often talk about being smart about picking political battles. Is this a hill worth dying on or for? I believe this is a hill worth dying on and for.”

Rep. Lance Gooden

Rep. Lance Gooden

R Dist. 5

Yes

“I believe that we have to protect the country, and we can still do that and be compassionate to folks. But we’ve got to make sure that we’re protecting our borders and taking care of our citizens first.”

Did not comment

Rep. Ron Wright

Rep. Ron Wright

R Dist. 6

Yes

“I fully support the president’s insistence on funding for border security that includes the steel barrier or wall. Americans have suffered enough because of our porous border.”

“This is a national security issue and the safety and security of the American people have got to come first.”

Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher

No

“The U.S. government should invest in our national security, and should determine how best to do so by listening to experts, consulting those involved and using evidence-based strategies to keep us secure.”

“Shutting down the government for a wall is neither a reasonable nor necessary nor responsible way to govern. That is why I have voted since day one to reopen the government and then address border security and immigration issues in a mature and bipartisan way.”

Rep. Kevin Brady

Rep. Kevin Brady

R Dist. 8

Yes

“I continue to stand with President Trump in his efforts to secure our border and prioritize national security. In the Houston region, we’re all too familiar with the damage caused by MS-13 gangs, drug trafficking and sex trafficking, much of which comes from the southern border.

“The only thing Senator Schumer (D-NY) got right tonight is that there is no excuse to keep the government shut down. It’s time for Senate and House Democrats to come to the table and discuss the President’s common sense solutions to end this humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border, and fully reopen our government.”

Rep. Al Green

Rep. Al Green

D Dist. 9

Unclear

“Regardless of one’s position on the wall, the question is whether we will allow the President to circumvent the legislative process by holding hardworking Americans who have done nothing wrong and deserve to be paid as hostages until he gets his way.”

“I think it is unfair that Americans are being held hostage by President Trump and ransomed at $5.7 billion for a wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.”

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

R Dist. 10

Yes

“The American people have demanded action and it’s time to deliver.”

“Ending the partial shutdown without solving this problem will make the situation worse in the future. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Chuck Schumer lecture others about putting politics aside and doing what’s best for the country. They need to put their dishonest talking points away and take their own advice.”

Rep. Mike Conaway

Rep. Mike Conaway

R Dist. 11

Yes

“Let’s be smart about it and spend our resources properly, but operational control of the border is in our best interest.”

Did not comment

Rep. Kay Granger

Rep. Kay Granger

R Dist. 12

Did not comment

Did not comment

Rep. Mac Thornberry

Rep. Mac Thornberry

R Dist. 13

Yes

“You can argue about the dollar amounts, but there ought to be a way to advance border security and open … the parts of the government that are not open now.”

“If you want to have a political issue, show how tough you are, then it’s harder to make much progress.”

Rep. Randy Weber

Rep. Randy Weber

R Dist. 14

Did not comment

Did not comment

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez

No

“The U.S. should fund modern, technologically advanced solutions to border security, not a wall.”

“Absolutely not. Border security discussions must be held with an open government. Border security and immigration solutions are complex; providing financial security for approximately 800,000 federal employees is simple.”

Rep. Veronica Escobar

No

“We’ve never been more safe or secure and immigrants make our country great.”

“The president of the United States wants to exchange one set of hostages, our federal workers, for another set of hostages: DACA and TPS recipients. No deal, no deal, no deal.”

Rep. Bill Flores

Rep. Bill Flores

R Dist. 17

Yes

“I think $5.7 billion is the right number, but if we could get anywhere close to that, it’s worth moving forward to try and address the most critical points where the risks are highest right now.”

“I think both sides are partially to blame, but at this point in time, it’s time to stop pointing fingers and start getting the funding flowing.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

No

“The president repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall over which he has now singlehandedly shut down the government. It is the president who is holding federal workers, contractors and the federal government hostage.”

Rep. Jodey Arrington

Yes

“This is a crisis. This is a national security crisis, and there is imminent threat to our citizens, and I can not imagine the president waiting a whole lot longer before he just says ‘I am not waiting on congress.'”

Did not comment

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Rep. Joaquin Castro

D Dist. 20

No

“Trump should reopen the government immediately. Then we can discuss broader comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures that we can all agree on. Federal workers, Dreamers and [Temporary Protected Status] recipients should not be held hostage to the president’s demands for a border wall.”

Rep. Chip Roy

Rep. Chip Roy

R Dist. 21

Did not comment

Did not comment

Rep. Pete Olson

Rep. Pete Olson

R Dist. 22

Yes

“We can and must secure our border, open our government and show true leadership and compassion as we start this new Congress. We owe the American people nothing less.”

“Additionally, we have a responsibility to fully fund our government and ensure paychecks flow to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are performing vital work on our behalf without pay.”

Rep. Will Hurd

Rep. Will Hurd

R Dist. 23

No

“What I always say is building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security.”

“Not paying the people and furloughing the people dealing with this problem doesn’t make any sense.”

Rep. Kenny Marchant

Rep. Kenny Marchant

R Dist. 24

Yes

Did not comment

Rep. Roger Williams

Rep. Roger Williams

R Dist. 25

Yes

“This whole thing is politically driven. In ’06 the Democrats were for this.”

“I don’t like it. I want to get people paid that aren’t getting paid.”

Rep. Michael Burgess

Yes

“Despite this obstructive stance, I expect President Trump to deliver on his promise to update the American people in the near future.”

“Speaker Pelosi consistently rejects opportunities to reach a commonsense agreement that will reopen the government and secure our borders.”

Rep. Michael Cloud

Rep. Michael Cloud

R Dist. 27

Yes

“A wall would also allow CBP to concentrate their efforts on ports of entry and use their manpower more efficiently.”

“But there should be nothing partisan about ending a humanitarian and criminal crisis that is driven by cartels — and enabled by our federal government’s failure to act. Congress has a responsibility not just to protect the citizens of our country but to end the humanitarian crisis on our southern border.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar

Rep. Henry Cuellar

D Dist. 28

No

“No. The U.S. should secure the southern border with technologically advanced solutions and increased personnel instead of a wall, which is a 14th century solution to a 21st century issue.”

“Hard-working employees, families and communities across the country do not deserve to have their paychecks held hostage. Only once the government shutdown ends and the American people receive their paychecks can Congress can get back to work on negotiating a compromise.”

Rep. Sylvia Garcia

Rep. Sylvia Garcia

D Dist. 29

No

“I think the majority of my district is no different than the country. They don’t think the wall is neccesary.”

“When it comes to the offer on DACA, DAPA, TPS… Those are issues that he created.”

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

No

“No – a wall has not proven to be effective, and there are many alternatives that provide better border security at a lower cost to taxpayers.”

“Public servants earn their paychecks by doing the often unappreciated work necessary to keep our government functioning. The president should be thanking them for their service and sacrifice, not putting their livelihoods on the line in pursuit of something that will not make the country any safer.”

Rep. John Carter

Rep. John Carter

R Dist. 31

Yes

“A government shutdown is never a good thing. Americans, including our hard-working federal law enforcement officers, are going without their pay, that’s why I’m refusing my pay during this shutdown. A secure border is what the American people want and expect from the federal government.”

Rep. Colin Allred

Rep. Colin Allred

D Dist. 32

No

“Physical barriers alone are not enough. We need smart border security, and resources to protect our ports of entry. I am committed to working together with my colleagues on real, effective immigration reform and border security.”

“Absolutely not. This shutdown must end so bipartisan negotiations can begin.”

Rep. Marc Veasey

Rep. Marc Veasey

D Dist. 33

No

“Democrats want to secure the border in a way that actually makes sense. Wasting money on an ineffective solution diverts needed resources away from proven technologies that work to protect our southern border.”

“Over 29,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown in Texas should not be forced to go without a paycheck over a wall the majority of Americans do not support. Plain and simple, President Trump and Senate Republicans are choosing political self-interest over our families.”

Rep. Filemon Vela

Rep. Filemon Vela

D Dist. 34

No

Did not comment

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

D Dist. 35

No

“Yielding to the hostage-taker will only produce more shutdowns for even more outrageous demands. When enough Republicans join Will Hurd, our government will reopen by passing the same bills Republicans had agreed to before President Trump changed his mind.”

Rep. Brian Babin

Rep. Brian Babin

R Dist. 36

Yes

“The laws of the United States specify that we’re to have secure borders, that we’re to know who comes in and it’s to be done in an orderly fashion.

“The Democrats do not want to fund this border wall or to make the changes in the policies and vote to change the things that will secure our border.”

Read related Tribune coverage

Authors: GABE SCHNEIDER AND DARLA CAMERON – The Texas Tribune

Russia, Health Care, Debt Ceiling on Summer Agenda for Texans in Congress

WASHINGTON — After a sour spring, Congress is prepping for the summertime blues.

With the August recess just a few weeks away, there is one question on everyone’s mind on Capitol Hill: Can Republicans move any major legislation this summer? Or if not that, can they even move basic, must-pass bills to keep the government functioning normally?

That the answers to those questions are not clear shows how things have changed for the Republican-controlled Congress since the high hopes of January.

Internal GOP divisions and general chaos coming from the White House have translated to meager legislative accomplishments so far.

Republicans are increasingly backing off timelines to wrap up any of the items high on their agenda by August.

A rolling stream of evidence about the 2016 Russian cyberattacks and connections to allies of President Donald Trump continues to undermine public relations efforts to focus on other issues. So much so, that Republicans who used to roll their eyes at Democratic concerns are now beginning to wonder what the future holds on the Russian front.

Why does any of this matter, given that we are barely six months into the new administration? Because sooner rather than later, the pressure of the 2018 midterms is likely to further paralyze Congress.

And then there is the unknown: Members are increasingly bracing for more curve balls coming from an unpredictable White House.

Nonetheless, five issues remain the most likely to dominate Congress’ summer. Texans are well-positioned to potentially play key roles in all of them:

Russia Investigations

While members spent the week back home, Congressional subpoenas were flying around Washington. Upcoming hearings are likely to only increase attention on the investigations. And it all starts Thursday with former FBI Director James Comey set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The notion that a fired FBI director is postured to reveal possibly incriminating evidence against a sitting president of the United States has members of both parties stunned and concerned.

There are likely to be plenty of other hearings on both sides of the U.S. Capitol, even as special counsel Robert Mueller continues his own Justice Department investigation.

Texans to watch: Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, all serve on their respective chambers’ intelligence committees and will participate in hearings. But no one will be closer to the storm than U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway of Midland, who is the Republican leader of the House-side investigation.

Raising the debt ceiling

Ever since Republicans took control of the U.S. House in 2011, the concept of increasing the government’s ability to borrow money has become a game of chicken between the two parties. Most economists say a default would be economically catastrophic, but such brinksmanship can translate into the opposition exacting major demands.

Congress was bracing for a fall fight. But some Trump administration officials suggest the need to raise the limit could come sooner and are urging Congress to address the issue before they let out for the August recess.

Texans to watch: House Freedom Caucus members like Republican U.S. Reps Louie Gohmert of Tyler and Randy Weber of Friendswood, combined with Texas Democrats who tend to fall in line behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will undoubtedly squeeze the House Republican leadership from opposite directions amid debt limit negotiations.

Health care overhaul

Cornyn predicted Republicans will pass a repeal and replace of former President Obama’s 2010 health law by the August recess. Few others on Capitol Hill are that optimistic.

The House passed a bill in early March that has drawn strong opposition from the Senate, which is expected to craft its own version of the legislation.

Previous efforts to pass an overhaul unleashed tumult within the House GOP and ate up most of the winter and spring.

Republicans are worried about more town hall backlash over the August recess over health care. Such scenes dogged Democrats in the summer of 2009 amid their push for a health care overhaul during Obama’s first term.

Texans to watch: Both Cornyn and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are participating in a Senate working group to hash out health care policy. Cornyn, as the Senate majority whip, will be the lead vote-counter on any legislation; and Cruz is influential among House conservatives. Additionally, U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady of the Woodlands and Michael Burgess of Lewisville, have committee assignments that make them key players on this issue. Freedom Caucus members like Gohmert and Weber could be pivotal votes if the House and Senate ever aim to reconcile different versions of a bill. If that came to pass, Hurd, who is expected to face a tough re-election race in 2018, will also be one to watch amid the vote-counting efforts of GOP House leaders.

Tax code overhaul

Rewriting the tax code is so difficult that it is typically addressed only once in a generation. Hopes were high at the dawn of the Trump administration. But a tax code overhaul was tied to the success of passing of a health care overhaul — which hasn’t happened yet.

Initially, the hope was to move tax legislation by the August recess. House leaders have scaled back those ambitions and are now hoping it will pass by the end of the calendar year.

Texans to watch: Brady, the U.S. House Ways and Means chairman, can be spotted regularly racing through the capitol to meetings and television interviews to champion this cause.

Financial Regulation Overhaul

There is, possibly, no bill House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarlinghas worked harder to move than an overhaul of Dodd-Frank, a Democratic-led legislation to rewrite Wall Street regulations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

He’ll likely have some success in the next week, as the U.S. House is expected to vote on a Hensarling-crafted bill.

But like so many other conservative dreams, this one could wind up choked in the U.S. Senate. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky downplayed expectations the legislation would make it through his chamber, although he said he supported the concept. Several GOP congressional sources agreed with this assessment.

Texans to watch: Hensarling.

Read related Tribune coverage:

Author: ABBY LIVINGSTON – The Texas Tribune

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