HARLINGEN, Texas (Nexstar) — Lawmakers are weighing in ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday. Trump is expected to tout the progress of his border wall over the past four years.
The trip comes with just over a week left in Trump’s presidency, as his administration rushes to award more border wall contracts before Jan. 19.
Congressman Tony Gonzales, a Republican representing Texas’ 23rd district, said he understood why the president was making the trip.
“Border security is an important issue in District 23 with over 800 miles of Texas to Mexican border. I appreciate the president’s leadership on this issue,” Rep. Gonzales said, adding he looks forward to working with the incoming administration to continue to highlight our border security.
Democrats, though, question the timing of the visit, especially after the insurrection at our nation’s Capitol last week.
“We’re seeing this is another example how he’s trying to deflect from the real issues that we have; fighting the pandemic and healing the country together,” Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat representing Texas’ 28th district, said Monday.
Rep. Cuellar also questions the administration’s claim of the completion of 400 new miles.
“I sit on the homeland appropriations, I can tell you this, he talks about 450 miles of fencing a wall, that’s not even correct. The new miles are only about 25 miles. So that means he’s built only a little bit over four miles, about six miles every year, in the last four years,” Rep. Cuellar said.
Trump is expected to land at Harlingen Valley International Airport at 1 p.m., then head west to Alamo for a ceremony at the wall itself.
Last time the president visited Texas in July, he was greeted by the governor in Midland when he got off Air Force One.
This trip, however, falls on the same day as opening day for the 87th Legislative Session. The Governor’s Office has confirmed Gov. Greg Abbott will remain at the Capitol for the beginning of session, not making the trip to the Rio Grande Valley,