While Texas continues to battle the Obama Administration on several political and legal fronts, the federal government is helping out the Lone Star State in at least one area. The Department of Homeland Security has announced more than $107 million in FEMA funding for border security and anti-terrorism efforts in Texas. As part of that funding, more than $18 million is going to the state homeland security program, more than $38 million for urban area security to protect large cities like Houston against possible terrorist threats and attacks, and more than $11 million for port security. Beyond that is more than $19 million that will go directly to Texas counties for their security efforts.
Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who sits on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, says these funds are welcome news for Texas. "There's too many state officials that go down to the border and have press conferences saying there's not enough money, we need to do more--well here is millions and millions and millions of dollars that the state has," he tells KTRH. Cuellar hopes to see the majority of those direct funds go to the state's 14 border counties. "I'm asking state officials to send a large amount of that money down to the border...but I'm also asking border sheriffs and border police departments to ask for that money when state officials come to the border."
Beyond the actual dollars, Cuellar hopes moves like this will encourage more cooperation among state and federal leaders and less divisiveness on the issue of border security. "I know we've got to do more, but let's work together instead of criticizing each other, especially the border," he says. "Let's treat the whole state of Texas like it belongs--the border is a part of the state of Texas."