For weeks Congressional Republicans, including Texas' own Senator John Cornyn criticized the President's comprehensive immigration reform proposal because they thought border security should be the top priority. On Tuesday Rep. Pete Gallego who represents the longest stretch of Texas-Mexico in Congress made it clear that the single biggest threat to border security is actually sequestration. In his first floor speech he admonished Congress for its finger pointing on the issue and challenged members to work together to solve the nation's problems.
“In small town West Texas when there's a fire everyone works together to put the fire out and no one focuses on how the fire started or who started the fire until after the fire is out. Here and now in Washington many folks are more focused on who is to blame for the sequester than trying to do something about it.” – Rep. Gallego
The Congressman characterized the across the board cuts as having both economic and national security implications, saying, “Not having a vote this week is a decision by some in Congress for decreased border security, job loss and furloughs, and it devastates local communities and the state of Texas.” His district contains a number of strategic military bases including Ft. Bliss in El Paso and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio that could face furloughs in the tens of thousands.
His office also released this handy infographic of the impact of sequestration on the US-Mexico border. You can follow him on twitter at @RepPeteGallego and see his house floor speech below the jump.