AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - When it comes to a bipartisan plan on border security, a state House Bill may accomplish what Congress has not been able to do.
The state currently has extra troopers and National Guard members patrolling the Texas border. At the national level, the political fight between President Trump and Democratic Party leaders has stymied the construction of a wall.
HB 4306, sponsored by state Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredricksburg), attempts to address the impasse. Biedermann said he first consulted with officials in south Texas. Then, he got several Democrats in the House to sign on.
"We all care about border security, we just need to be able to talk about it and get all of the heated rhetoric out of the way,” said Biedermann. "And just talk about what’s needed and let’s work on the projects first that we all agree on, and start building trust."
The legislation would create a special Border Security Enhancement Fund to pay for several border projects like clearing brush along the Rio Grande, providing new security technology for local law enforcement, sending additional manpower to ports of entry, and the construction of flood control structures.
"We don’t have to use the term, wall. But we will have barriers where they are needed and where they are wanted by those from the border, who know their area the best,” said Biedermann. "So instead of fighting over words, let’s do the projects that everyone feels are important, especially with the input from those on the border."
The fund, if approved by lawmakers, would start as a pilot program. It would be administered by the governor based on requests from local officials on the border.
Earlier this month, HB 4306 moved out of committee on a unanimous vote. It is now awaiting action on the House floor.