Texas sends 38 lawmakers to Congress — 36 House members and two senators — and 25 of them are Republican. None of them are willing to approve President Trump’s plan for a gulf-to-sea border wall. Not all of Texas’ congressional delegation basically opposes the wall, but when The Texas Tribune asked about Trump’s signature policy issue a few weeks ago, none would go on the record as believing this is a good idea.
Many of them were in favor of barricades in some segments of the border, adding Border Patrol officers, and using surveillance technology, but Sens. John Cornyn (R) and Ted Cruz (R) only backed finishing the last 50 miles of 700 miles of border fencing appropriated by Congress in 2006, most of it in Arizona. Others are concerned about using eminent domain to grab land from ranchers, which is often family land passed down for generations.
Rep. Will Hurd (R), whose modest House district spans 800 miles of border, from San Antonio to right outside El Paso, released a stronger statement on Wednesday. “Building a wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border,” he said. “Big Bend National Park and many areas in my district are perfect examples of where a wall is unnecessary and would negatively impact the environment, private property rights, and economy,” Hurd said, that it would be “impossible” to construct a wall in some sections of his district
BREAK OFF MEETING
President Donald Trump threatened Thursday morning to break off an upcoming meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after Peña Nieto restated that his nation would not pay for Trump’s border wall.
WHAT PENA NIETO SAYS
“Mexico doesn’t believe in walls,” Peña Nieto said Wednesday. Hours later, Trump tweeted:
“If I’m not mistaken, this is straight from the ‘you can’t break up with me [because] I was already breaking up with YOU’ manual of [international] diplomacy,” The Washington Post‘s Rebecca Sinderbrand quipped. Next week’s meeting was cancelled by Pena Nieto.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told MSNBC on Wednesday night that “there are a lot of different ways of getting Mexico to contribute to doing this, and there are different ways to defining how exactly they pay for it,” but at first, “we’re going to pay for it and front the money up.” When interviewer Greta Van Susteren said the estimated price tag is $8 billion to $14 billion, Ryan agreed, saying, “That’s about right.” Other estimates put the price as high as $25 billion for just construction.
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