Roger Williams, the congressman representing the 25th district of Texas, told those who gathered in the Somervell County Courthouse Monday that he supports President Trump’s effort to improve border security, and that Congress has done a “really bad job” on that issue.
Williams said, ultimately, there won’t be a concrete wall built across the entire U.S. border with Mexico. But he noted that funding should be available for physical barriers in crucial spots, to go along with a possible goal of adding 5,000 border patrol agents and technological improvements such as drones.
Williams said Congress should have taken on the task of border security through legislation, rather than having the president battle for it alone.
“We (Congress) did a really bad job,” he said. “Congress should be doing this.”
He also noted that, with the rising talk about socialism in Washington, “History repeats itself. We’ve just got a different cast of characters that makes mistakes. I’m going to defend free markets. We’re going to make sure socialism is not going to win out.
“I think we as conservatives should be more aggressive in getting our message out. I think our side can do a better job conveying what we stand for.”
Williams received a question from the audience from a woman who asked if the rights of property owners on the Texas side in the border regions will be protected in connection with border security changes.
“You’re not going to see land seizures,” Williams said, adding, “You don’t hear from the victims down there. I support President Trump. I think we’re on the right track. The debate is a little active right now.
“We need to move on and secure our borders. That’s what we all take an oath for is to defend the borders and defend our sovereignty.”
On the immigration issue, Williams said, “We want them to come in the right way, and realize the American dream. It only gets to be a big deal when you’re talking about chain migration. That’s what we’re trying to (work on) right now. That’s what the debate is about.”
Then he noted that the current system of becoming a U.S. citizen needs to be improved.
“Standing in line for 12 years is too long,” said the former Texas secretary of state.
About 30 people attended the Glen Rose town hall meeting, which was announced on Sunday afternoon on Williams’ Facebook page. He was also scheduled for town hall stops later in the day Monday in Cleburne and Meridian.
Williams said he represents 800,000 people in the 25th District of Texas and added, “We listen to you all.”
Williams said he voted against the recent bill that authorized the end of the federal government shutdown, but called it a “tough vote.”
He said that because he didn’t go to Washington in order to run for higher office, he doesn’t feel pressured from ever-present lobbyists — or anyone else — on his voting decisions.
“I believe in less government, not more government,” Williams said. “I’m not going to be president of the United States, so it’s not hard to made a decision.”
One topic that isn’t so difficult is his support of nuclear power as a continued option. That, of course, is always a huge concern because of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power plant just north of Glen Rose, which accounts for a large chunk of Somervell County’s property tax dollars each year.
“I’m a huge fan of (nuclear power),” Williams said. “I’m 100 percent there, fighting for the industry. Nuclear power is clean, cheap and I’m a voice for it.”
Williams also touched on other topics such as health care, Social Security and what is commonly known as the death tax.
He said the death tax is “the most unfair tax in the world. We have fixed it to a certain extent through the new tax cuts.”
Williams said the government’s guarantee made to seniors for their Social Security “is going to be kept.”
As for health care, Williams said, “I believe individuals should own your own health care. I think it should be portable, and tax deductible. Medicare for all … you can’t do that. Health care is always going to be a big debate. Let the private sector compete. We can’t afford health care for everybody.”
The high costs of prescription drugs was also brought up.
“We need to make it more competitive. It’s not competitive,” Williams said. “The president is all over this, and he’s putting a lot of pressure on drug companies.”