Austin Congressman McCaul Could Be in Line to Lead Homeland Security, But Border Wall Views May Be Problem

WASHINGTON -- House Homeland Security committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul is under consideration to head the Department of Homeland Security following Secretary John Kelly's move to become President Trump's new chief of staff, according to several news reports.But the Austin Republican's recent policy takes on the border wall, Robert Mueller's Russia probe, and even the recent White House communications team shake up may not endear him to Trump. And McCaul's views on immigration may not be enough to satisfy border hawks.On Friday, McCaul released a border security bill with many requirements for border security to be increased -- but it doesn't have a mandate for a border wall.The Border Security for America Act would spend just under $2.3 billion a year -- about $10 billion over four years -- to pay for border security. It authorizes the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to construct "tactical infrastructure," such as boat ramps, access gates, forward operating bases, checkpoints, lighting, and roads, as well as "physical barriers including fencing, border wall system, and levee walls.The appropriations move suggests Congress' attempts to beef up the security along the border line up with Trump's requests, but skip on dictating policy so as to avoid building an actual structure. Many experts -- and other Texas Republicans -- say a wall along the Southern border would be costly and inefficient.  Continue reading...

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