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Border surge a top concern for Texas lawmakers before Joint Session

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 9:35 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Texas lawmakers are speaking out about what they are hoping to hear during President Biden’s address to Congress. This will be Biden’s first speech to Congress as he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency.

A fraction of the Congressmen and Senators will be in attendance because of COVID restrictions.

Texas lawmakers said even if they are not inside the chamber, they will be watching.

“The state of our nation is very divided,” said Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX).

Williams said he hopes President Biden can put partisan politics aside and improve the post-pandemic economy.

“We have to focus on smaller government, that’s our message, something for the people,” he said. “I think Central Texas just wants the government out of our life, get back to normal, and let businesses compete and let Main Street compete.”

He also said he wants Biden Administration officials to stop discussing raising taxes.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said he is concerned about the president’s current policies and proposals, including his infrastructure plan. He wants Biden to share a unifying a message Wednesday evening, reaching across the aisle to Republicans on key issues like improving roads, bridges and high-speed broadband.

“In my 13 terms, this is the most partisan White House I have ever seen, and that’s bad for the country,” Brady said.

Brady and other Texas lawmakers said they want the president to address the migrant surge and provide solutions. Customs and Border Protection reported a 71 percent increase in migrants entering the U.S. from the southern border in March. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) went to the border last month. He’s calling the situation a crisis.

“I’ve been to the Rio Grande Valley many, many times. I’ve never seen it this bad,” he said. “In these cages, we saw little boys and little girls. They weren’t 6 feet apart, which they should be during a pandemic, they weren’t 3 feet apart, they weren’t even 3 inches apart, they were lying on the floor side by side, touching each other.”

Biden Administration officials have said they do not consider the surge on the southern border a crisis.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said they will focus on addressing the violence and economic turmoil in Central America to prevent an even higher surge in the future.

President Biden’s joint address to Congress starts at 9 p.m. ET tonight.

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