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Bipartisan Road Trip Yields Bipartisan Legislation

By Hunter Hallman

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Last week, Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who hail from neighboring Texas border districts, struck out on a cross-country road trip from San Antonio to Washington, D.C., when their flights were cancelled as a result of winter storms on the east coast. The two representatives took questions over Facebook Live, accepted song requests from those who tuned in, and adopted a piñata named Williberto as a trip mascot. The two also found time to discuss the legislation each was working on, and whether there was room for bipartisan cooperation. 

There’s a way to work on a contentious issue like immigration and find some common ground, said Hurd.

As the El Paso Times reported during the trip, O’Rourke had expressed interest in working with Hurd on his bill, the American Families United Act, which would give a federal judge the power to review the status of a deported immediate family member of a U.S. citizen. At the time, Hurd neglected to say whether he’d be interested in cosponsoring such a bill, but by the time they’d arrived in the capital for House votes on Friday, the two had agreed to co-sponsor each other’s bills. While Hurd agreed to sign onto the American Families United Act, O’Rourke added his name to the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, which incentivizes the hiring of veterans as law enforcement officers.

 “Let’s hope that it shows our colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, that there’s a way to work on a contentious issue like immigration and find some common ground,” said Hurd of working with O’Rourke on the American Families United Act. Likewise, the Bipartisan Policy Center believes in the constructive collision of ideas—that partisans on both sides of the aisle can engage with each other and work toward consensus without abandoning their principles.

Rep. Hurd will join our upcoming event Expanding the Benefits of North American Energy Trade on Thursday, March 23, at 2 p.m., to make opening remarks with Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) and introduce a panel of bipartisan experts on trade and energy.

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, BETO O'ROURKE, MIKE MCCAUL, TEXAS, WILL HURD