Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas says he believes President Trump would be willing to accept a deal to end the partial federal government shutdown and enhance security at ports of entry, if funds for a border wall were included, too. (Jan. 11) AP
Texas’ two Republican U.S. senators expressed support for President Trump’s insistence on border security funding, but not at the expense of Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.
AUSTIN — Texas’ two U.S. senators vowed Friday to battle any effort to divert federal disaster relief money to build President Donald Trump’s promised border wall if it comes at the expense of Hurricane Harvey relief.
“I will tell you that I will oppose any reprogramming of Harvey disaster funds,” Sen. John Cornyn said during a news conference with fellow Sen. Ted Cruz in Austin.
Cruz agreed. But both Texas Republicans sought to blame congressional Democrats, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer for the protracted shutdown of the federal government.
Both lawmakers accompanied Trump on Air Force One on Thursday when the president visited McAllen and hosted a roundtable discussion on what he calls a crisis at the south border.
Democrat have called such a description inaccurate and unfair.
“The border wall makes no sense for our communities,” said U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville. “The president is fixated on a senseless border wall fight when we could be allocating these funds to actual crises in our nation like the opioid crisis. When we look at the country conditions in Central America, it’s obvious that this is a humanitarian issue that runs much deeper than just a border wall.”
The remarks Friday from Cornyn and Cruz came after both were the headliners of the annual conference of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin think tank.
Even though they said they would protect Harvey funding, both expressed lock-step support for Trump’s insistence that $5 billion-plus must be allocated for the wall and other border security measures as a condition for reopening the 25 percent of the government that has been shuttered since December.
And despite Trump saying he would accept blame for the shutdown, Cruz and Cornyn said the Democrats are the cause.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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