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Texas Lawmakers Urge President to Not Grab Disaster Funds for Wall

We’re past the 3 week mark in President Trump’s government shutdown, and both sides of the debate seem stubbornly fixed to their positions.

Personally, it’s a head scratcher, given the two years of non-action on the border when Republicans had the majority in both Houses and the momentum of the 2016 election win at their backs.

And just how does something become an “emergency” when for two years it was not, and now, with border apprehensions at a low, it suddenly is, to the point that the administration is considering taking some serious, big government moves of oppression to get it done?

Besides potentially calling for a “national emergency” and marching our military across our own territory to confiscate private property from citizens, the Trump administration has floated some other notions that have caught local government officials off guard.

It’s alarming to the point that Texas Governor Greg Abbott, several Republican senators from the state (Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz), and an otherwise bipartisan group of lawmakers have joined together to issue a letter to the president, imploring him to reconsider plans to snatch up funds that had already been earmarked for hurricane disaster relief.

 “Recent reports have indicated that your administration is considering the use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funds, appropriated by Congress and intended for Hurricane Harvey recovery and mitigation efforts, in an effort to secure our southern border,” the letter states. 

“We strongly support securing the border with additional federal resources including tactical infrastructure, technology, ports of entry improvements and personnel,” it said. “However, we are strongly opposed to using funds appropriated by Congress for disaster relief and mitigation for Texas for any unintended purpose.”

And herein lies the crux of the problem.

Trump has demanded funds, but his plans shift from a “big, beautiful wall” to “steel slats.” He has no clear plan to present to Congress, in order to move forward.

Walls work, to a point, but we’re a technologically-advanced society. It would appear that this is what they’re suggesting.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (now Energy Secretary Perry) spent over 14 years as governor and has had a lot of experience at the southern border. He often spoke of how a wall was not the answer.

Get boots on the ground, actually at the border and not 50 miles away. Strategic fencing, rather than attempting to build a continuous wall, aviation assets, and fast responders on the ground.

These are sensible solutions, and if Trump were serious about border security and not just using it as campaign rhetoric,  or a cudgel against Democrats, he’d sit down and work out a genuine plan, then present that to Congress.

The last thing he should be doing, however, is threatening to grab private land and monies set aside to aid distressed citizens.

“As Texas continues to rebuild and prepare for future disasters, these funds, appropriated by Congress to be spent directly on rebuilding and mitigation, are critical to helping our communities recover, preventing future flooding and protecting or constituents,” the lawmakers continued in the letter.

“Thank you for your commitment to help Texas respond to Hurricane Harvey and to secure the southern border. We ask that you ensure necessary efforts on border security do not jeopardized hurricane recovery and mitigation in Texas,” they added.

Of the 20 lawmakers signing off on the letter, there is Representatives Dan Crenshaw, Kevin Brady, and Randy Weber. Democratic Representatives included Lizzie Fletcher, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Sylvia Garcia.

With that in mind, the will seems to be there, across party lines.

Now let’s see how the president responds.

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