The only Republican who represents a district along the southern border called on President Donald Trump to reopen the government without funding for a wall and restore the salaries of the U.S. Border Patrol.
“If this is a crisis, the people that are dealing with this crisis should get paid,” Rep. Will Hurd of Texas said in an interview on CNN moments after President Donald Trump’s televised immigration address Tuesday.
Hurd was one of seven Republicans who voted with Democrats last week for a bill with funding for roughly a dozen agencies and a continuation of the $1.3 billion authorized for fencing in fiscal 2018, but without money for a border wall.
The 23rd District congressman has long been critical of Trump’s push for a wall.
“Building a 30-foot high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd said.
Every member of Congress representing one of the nine congressional districts along the border opposes constructing a wall.
Hurd disputed Trump’s claim that a border wall would stop flows of heroin into the country.
“Everyone tries to act like this is some scary drug cartel movie back in the day,” Hurd said.
He called for other “smart solutions” — including increased salaries for Border Patrol agents to improve retention, increased resources to the U.S. Coast Guard and increased funding for better technology.
Watch: Trump’s border wall address vs. Democrats’ response