“Building a 30-foot high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” says GOP Rep. Will Hurd, who is the only Republican representing a border district. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ARZhMcM4kv
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 10, 2019
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas, 23rd District) say he has problems with President Donald Trump‘s declared national emergency at the border.
“That gives the president certain powers that I believe goes against what our constitution has said,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Congress, back before I was alive, gave this authority up that they have–the power of the purse–to the executive branch in times of an emergency. I think we need to claw that back.”
To be clear, Hurd isn’t an “open borders” type of guy. It’s that he argues that Trump’s proposed wall is an expensive, ineffective way to maintain security.
“Last year, 400,000 people came into the country illegally,” said Hurd, whose district extends along 820 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. “We had $67 billion worth of illegal narcotics into the country.”
Hurd previously said that the emergency is unnecessary to address border security.
The congressman’s criticism on constitutional grounds is worth bringing up because of ongoing lawsuits over the president’s declared emergency. Trump says he needs to redirect federal funds for his border wall. Plaintiffs, including attorney generals from 16 states, say that even he has admitted that there’s no real emergency.
Despite Hurd’s criticism, however, the congressman said Sunday that he plans on voting for his party’s nominee in the 2020 presidential election. The optics on this were pretty complicated because of his friendship with Democrat, former Texas congressman, and possible POTUS candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Beto O’Rourke famously didn’t help out Will Hurd’s opponent in 2018. Hurd famously separated himself from Trump.
And so, on CNN today, Hurd said he’d vote for Trump for president over Beto. pic.twitter.com/Pw3llYjur2
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 10, 2019
Will Hurd: I’m voting for Trump in 2020 even if Beto O’Rourke wins the Democratic nomination. pic.twitter.com/mBHbQhSLey
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) March 10, 2019
[Screengrab via CNN]