Texas lawmakers react to Trump's visit to the border
As President Donald Trump visited the Texas border, state lawmakers gathered in Austin for the third day of the Texas legislative session.
While the focus remains on key issues like fixing a broken school finance system and property tax reform, legislators did weigh in on Trump's trip to McAllen.
Representative Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, is the chairman of the Texas House Border Caucus. He said called Trump's trip a "political stunt paid for by the American taxpayer."
Rep. Blanco said border towns are generally safe, according to FBI statistics. He believes the focus should not be on a border wall.
"We should be talking about making investments in the border, our universities, the important trade coming across both sides of border, and focusing on the economy," said Rep. Blanco.
Representative Donna Howard, D-Austin, said she hopes Trump used his visit to discuss real solutions for border security, rather than "hypothetical" ideas like a wall.
"Nobody's saying we don't want a secure border," said Rep. Howard. "We want it to be smart and strategic and invest our dollars wisely. "
Earlier in the week, Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, called Trump's visit a distraction from the real issues facing Texans.
Republican state lawmakers feel differently. Representative Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said border security is a serious issue and supports Trump's visit.
"I think border security is a critical issue for our state and country as a whole," said Rep. Krause. "So, I'm pleased to see that the President is putting a huge focus on border security and taking time to come to Texas and see what's going on."
Still, Krause said he believes the lawmakers in Washington need to be working on a compromise for funding the government.
Democrats in Texas agree the folks in Washington need to work on a solution to end the government shutdown. However, that compromise likely looks different depending on which side of the aisle you stand.
"It's holding a lot of people hostage who are dependent upon those paychecks for their families," said Rep. Howard. "For political rhetoric that we should be able to deal with as adults in the room, and it's very disheartening that these people are being forced to bear the brunt of that political fallout."