Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Are Texas' Republican Leaders Divided Over The Border Surge?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 12:32 PM

click image Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick - DAN PATRICK
  • Dan Patrick
  • Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

There's no doubt that former Texas Governor Rick Perry was a trendsetter for Lone Star State Republicans.

For instance, when Perry announced the "Border Surge" last June, conservatives lined up behind the potential presidential candidate, declaring that the National Guard was, indeed, the only way to secure the border — from waves of undocumented children crossing the Rio Grande, err, cartels.

So it's interesting that when Texas' new lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, announced Tuesday that he wants $12 million to fund the troops through May, along with his intention to request more funding in a supplemental budget to keep the National Guard in the Rio Grande Valley through the end of August.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Patrick said he and Texas Governor Greg Abbott were standing "shoulder to shoulder" on border security funding, though Abbott's office declined to respond to requests from Lone Star State reporters about Patrick's plan.

While Abbott didn't speak to the American-Statesman, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus did provide the paper with a statement that might indicate a division within Republican leadership concerning the "border surge."

"I appreciate (Lt.) Gov. Patrick's remarks, but Gov. Abbott is the commander-in-chief, and he will decide whether to extend the National Guard's deployment," Straus said.

So far, Abbott's been quiet on the issue and without approval for an extended stay on the Rio Grande, the National Guard will draw down its presence in the Valley in March.

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