Wednesday, January 16, 2008

King Gets called Out by Fellow Republican

King went after an amendment by Texas Sen. Hutchison that would give residents and local law enforcement a voice in where the fence is needed.
From the Star-Telegram.. "In an uncharacteristic display of public frustration with party colleagues, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Friday sharply criticized two Republican congressmen who accused her of a stealth effort to derail the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Conservative blogs and pundits have attacked Hutchison since Reps. Peter King of New York and Duncan Hunter of California accused the Texas Republican of essentially repealing Congress' mandate to build 700 miles of fencing. "This was a midnight massacre," King said of an amendment Hutchison shepherded into law last month. "It was absolutely disgraceful."
After being labeled "Panderer to the Criminal Invader" and called a traitor to border security, Hutchison fought back Friday.
"There is misinformation, and I think the congressmen who should know better exactly what has happened have been a little loose with the facts," she said in an interview."

What the new law does, Hutchison said, is require that the government consult with landowners and local elected officials, many of whom have felt bulldozed and ignored by the federal government.

The Department of Homeland Security echoed Hutchison's view that her language does not put the fence in jeopardy. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's pledge to build 370 miles by year's end is "full steam ahead," spokeswoman Laura Keehner said."

Hutchison tells the San Antonio Express-News "Border patrol agents reported that coyotes and drug-runners were altering their routes as fencing was deployed, so the amendment gives our agents discretion to locate the fence where necessary to achieve operational control of our border,"

An editorial from the Houston Chronicle "In attacking Hutchison, conservative U.S. Reps. Peter King of New York and Duncan Hunter of California have joined columnist Michelle Malkin in misstating the facts. Rather than gutting the border fence, the amendment maintains a requirement for 700 miles of barrier, but allows law enforcement to decide what works best and where.
Rather than being slipped in the back door and catching lawmakers unaware, the legislation was approved in four different votes in the Senate and is backed by the eight senators who represent the four border states. In fact, before Democrats won control of the House in 2006, then-Speaker Dennis Hastert sent four committee chairmen, including King, a letter explaining that an amendment was necessary to provide more flexibility and discussion with locals in constructing the fence.
According to a statement from Hutchison's office, the senator found it troubling and unsettling that King claimed to be unfamiliar with language in the omnibus bill for which he voted. Hutchison told the Chronicle, "I think the congressmen who should know better exactly what has happened have been a little loose with the facts."
The original legislation was a billion-dollar boondoggle that would have taken decision-making authority from border security officials and stifled input from local authorities and landowners.
The fence legislation still has major flaws, but it is a much better law because of Hutchison's efforts."

So King once again gets exposed for lying. It's too bad we don't hear about all his actions in our local news.

The so-called border fence is a contentious issue for the country but a more important issue for land-owners and residents in South Texas. I covered the Texan response to Kings wall here.
Yes there is a need for real border security but the idea of a wall along our southern border being effective is a pipe dream. The Berlin Wall was only 96 miles in length. On that 96 miles, there were 302 watchtowers and 20 bunkers. That is one watchtower every half mile. Plus there were roaming patrols, land mines and traps. With all that, almost 5000 determined East Germans escaped. The fence King wants is 700 miles long. The southern border is 1,950 miles long. What I am saying is that the fence will be about as secure as the Maginot Line.

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