One of our Tennessee U.S. representatives began work Wednesday on a border security compromise.
Tennessee U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) is a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee on Homeland Security. He is one of the 17 lawmakers whose job is to craft a border security plan that can pass through Congress, get the president’s signature, and keep the government from grinding to a halt on February 15.
Drew Petrimoulx from our D.C. bureau reported on Fleischmann’s view of what lies ahead for members of the committee.
Fleischmann says he’s optimistic despite what some see as an impossible task.
“I think it is an opportunity for us to restore the faith of the American people,” Fleischmann said.
On Wednesday, Fleischmann and the committee begin work with other lawmakers to prevent another government shutdown. The bipartisan committee has until February 15 to solve an impasse over border security, largely centered around president trump’s call to extend barriers along the southern border.
“I think we’ve got to try to get funds, substantial funds and I won’t stick on a number for the wall,” Fleischmann said.
Democrats largely oppose the idea, insisting there are cheaper, more effective ways to boost border security.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), a Texas Democrat who represents a border district, is also on the committee.
“We understand practical, strong, smart, ways of securing the border,” Cuellar said. Cuellar favors using technology and increasing the number of border patrol agents and immigration judges.
“I feel very confident that we can sit down and work this out,” Cuellar said.
“We need to keep these discussions cordial. We need to realize that everyone in the room are good people,” Fleischmann said.