Will Hurd talks about his ‘DC TO DQ’ road trip of town hall meetings
I wanted to find out what our members of congress are doing on their August recess.
So I took my camera out to follow a Republican and a Democrat.
First, Will Hurd. I caught up with the Republican representing the sprawling 23rd District at John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes.
“You gotta be out where the people are, and that's why we've just finished 27 stops over seven days from El Paso to San Antonio,” Hurd said.
He calls his road trips of town hall meetings “DC to DQ."
That's because some of the stops in his district are literally in Dairy Queens like the one in Carrizo Springs, where many questions are about farming, ranching and property rights.
“One of my concerns is I serve on the USDA Board of Farmers and Ranchers. We've been without an executive director for a year and a half,” one man told Hurd.
Hurd said he's learning about specific problems - and some possible solutions - involving all kinds of things.
“We're hearing issues about some unique provisions that need to be improved on. Medicaid. I'm learning about problems some engineers within the federal government are facing. We've learned some local issues about how to improve continuity between the VA and community health clinics.”
He also talks about why he's voted against fellow Republicans and against President Trump's plan for building a border wall. He and others have introduced a bill calling for more technology along the border.
“Well I don't know if it's fighting an uphill battle when it comes to my SMART Act or the SMART wall. We all know building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security. We should be using technology and people to solve our problems,” said Hurd.
“Our civil liberties are not burdens, they're what made this country great," Hurd told the crowd in Carrizo Springs, as he answered a question about privacy rights.
So has he changed any of his opinions during this break? Has anybody convinced him to rethink his positions?
“Whether or not my opinions have changed, people have highlighted important issues that I had not been exposed to. So my horizons have been broadened.”
Like most congressmen right now, he's also getting all kinds of input about health care.
A woman in Helotes told him a story about one of her family members. “If pre-existing conditions are not a part of whatever health care bill we have, he will be screwed."
And while he's out listening to people's concerns, Hurd is also talking about problems he's working on that haven't made big headlines yet, like the fact China just used a satellite to relay data that's potentially unhackable.
"Quantum computing, for those unfamiliar with the term, is basically going to render everything that we're doing with security ineffective. And the Chinese have a step on us,” warned Hurd.
On Friday night I'll show you some of what Democrat Henry Cuellar has been doing during this summer recess.