Congress is back in session, and North Texas freshmen are getting situated. Political reporter Julie Fine is in Washington as the new Congress gets to work.
“I am trying to figure out where the bathrooms are, and figure my way around here. I am meeting a lot of people and trying to connect faces with names and all that, but I also feel like there are a lot of people helping me out. I feel a lot of support,” said Democrat Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas.
“We were fortunate enough to win, and we are here, and a lot of times I say to my wife, 'can you believe we’re in Washington?', so it’s a combination of surreal and also very fulfilling,” said Republican Rep. Lance Gooden of Mesquite.
“Very excited to be sworn in. Exciting times here in Washington D.C., and ready to represent the people of North Texas,” said Republican Rep. Van Taylor of Plano.
But the representatives arrive while the government remains shutdown. The president wants more than $5 billion for border security and a barrier.
“I think we need a secure border and I think we need an open government. So I think those two things are tied together. I am very surprised that people don’t want to see a secure border,” said Taylor.
Gooden wants to see the money included in legislation.
“I have campaigned for over a year with my constituents. They all say we want meaningful border security. They are prepared to stand with me as long as it takes to stand with the president,” said Rep. Gooden.
Allred said the government should be opened immediately, and the house will vote on legislation to re-open the government without the more than $5 billion included in it.
“I think we all agree about border security and there is funding for border security in this budget that we are going to pass. What we are not going to do is fund something that does not work, that does not invest in our own people, “ Allred said.
Republican Congressman Michael McCaul of Austin thinks there could be a solution soon.
“I do think after Nancy Pelosi is elected today that takes a lot of pressure off of her frees her up to negotiate. We are hopeful we will have something this weekend,” said McCaul.