A bill that would divert COVID-19 stimulus funds to reimburse local law enforcement agency efforts to protect the border, are among several “common sense” bills recently introduced by Republican Congressman August Pfluger, (TX-11).
A second bill would require the federal government to inform and coordinate with local government leaders in advance when placing immigrant youths in temporary detainment centers, like the ones set up in Midland and Pecos earlier this year without community leaders’ knowledge.
“These are pretty straightforward, common sense bills,” Pfluger said during a Monday afternoon phone interview. “It will require the federal government to work with local government and do things like provide weekly updates.
“The federal government hasn’t been very transparent – it’s almost embarrassing – all we’re talking about is good communication that will help protect communities and the kids.”
Pfluger was one of many state, and local leaders who were upset when the federal government secretly began transporting immigrant youths and lodging them in hastily setup detainment centers in Midland and other Texas communities
Federal officials continuously rebuffed inquiries from Pfluger and local leaders who wanted to know how many youths were being detained in Midland, how long they would be detained and refused requests to visit the centers.
“In Midland there were ministers and other people in the community who wanted to help, but they couldn’t because of the federal government,” Pfluger said, noting people wanted to make sure the youth had adequate clothing, hygiene products and other basic supplies.
Pfluger said he’s not yet sure which committees the bills will be sent to for review. The first bill will likely be sent to multiple committees like Homeland Security and a COVID-related committee.
“Now it’s up to the committees,” said Pfluger, who expressed concern that one or both bills could be stalled or die at the committee level.
Pfluger and other Republican legislators admit they will have an even tougher challenge passing a proposed alternative budget for fiscal year 2022. Pfluger last Wednesday announced his support for the budget proposed by the Republican Study Committee.
“Democrats have only been in charge for five months and they are already wrecking our economy,” Pfluger said.
“Inflation is rising, job growth is stalling, the national debt continues to skyrocket, and House Democrats continue to wrongly pursue trillions in crippling tax hikes that will harm Texas farmers and ranchers, businesses, and families.”
Pfluger said the Republican budget proposal would balance the federal budget and cut spending by $14.4 trillion in 10 years, and reduce taxes on American families by $1.9 trillion.
“The proposal is straightforward,” Pfluger said. “It’s about not spending more than what you’re taking in.”
Pfluger said he and other Republicans will be lobbying their Democrat counterparts to support the proposal and take their argument to voters via the media and by visiting communities.
“I knew this was going to be a challenge,” Pfluger said. “It’s unlikely (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi will do anything fiscally responsible.
“It’s going to take patience and getting out and talking to our constituents. We’re going to have to show the American people this will work.”