Cloud visits county sparking talk on border issues
Congressman Michael Cloud came to visit Matagorda County July 1 to speak with community members.
Cloud is currently serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Texas’s 27th congressional district. Cloud was appointed to his position of office on July 10, 2018. He brought with him Mark Longoria, deputy district director, who performs much of the ground work and works primarily on specific case work for this district. Cloud also brought his son, one of three children, along to the meeting.
Cloud has recently paid a visit to the Texas-Mexico border and spoke of, while also answering questions about, the topics of immigration, health care, border patrol, and abuse of asylum laws. Issues that are specific to our community and area such as the flooding we experienced during Hurricane Harvey and more recent rainstorm flooding’s were also touched on. The community members brought these concerns to Cloud’s attention.
When Could was asked how citizens can be of help to him he responded, “continue to get the word out, get the message out. I think a lot of it is being an educated consumer of news.”
When speaking about the Mexican cartels, Cloud informed the attendees that our border patrol is outmatched and outnumbered in the way that, “the cartels make 80 million dollars a week, and we fund the border patrol thirteen million dollars a year.”
He stated, “You have the cartels flying the latest drone technology while the Laredo Center, about 70 percent of the time, is using cameras from the 1990’s.”
The next step in combating the cartels would be “situational awareness,” stated Cloud.
Cloud joined Hector Garza, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, and 10 other members of Congress in announcing they are urging House leadership to hold a vote on supplemental border funding requested by the President.
“Having just been to the border to see the situation firsthand, I can confirm that this is a genuine disaster, and both the American people and the migrants themselves are suffering due to Congress’s unwillingness to act,” said Cloud. “Our Border Patrol is outmanned and gravely underfunded compared to the cartels, and our shelters are overwhelmed, and in an attempt to score political points, House leadership continues to block funding for combating the cartels and even for humanitarian aid.”
President Donald Trump has requested that Congress pass $4.5 billion in supplemental spending to help ease the crisis, including $3.3 billion that would be used for humanitarian aid, including increasing shelter space, improving processing speed for new arrivals, and caring for unaccompanied minors. The request includes no funding for the border wall. The Senate has announced that a vote will occur before the Fourth of July recess, but House leadership has blocked the request so far.
For the past week, Cloud and other members of the House Freedom Caucus have been using procedural tactics to delay other House priorities in an attempt to force a vote on this emergency border funding. This has included preventing voice votes on amendments to a major appropriations package that House leadership is attempting to hold a vote on, instead calling for time-consuming recorded votes on every amendment as long as Congress refuses to act on border funding.
On a recent trip to Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley, Cloud made a late-night visit to the Rio Grande River with Agent Garza to get a firsthand look at opposition from cartels that Border Patrol faces on a regular basis. Congressman Cloud had invited out-of-state Congressmen, including Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), to see the border crisis for themselves, and the trip also included visits to shelters and meetings with Border Patrol leadership and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
He was able to come and have a meeting during the week due to there being no voting he needed to be present for this week. Otherwise, Cloud spends his week days in Washington, D.C.