U.S. Congressman Dan Meuser, R-9, Dallas, during a one-hour telephone town hall Wednesday afternoon, called the situation at the country’s southwest border “worse than a crisis.”
It’s a human catastrophe, he said, and plans to take a bipartisan trip to the border to see the situation for himself as soon as this weekend.
“What we did was we largely reversed a lot of policies that were in place,” he said. “I had been to the border over a year ago, just as it was starting to improve, and it was so because of various measures taken by the Trump administration.”
Meuser also accused the Biden administration of “losing a relationship with the Mexican president that the prior administration had developed — the Mexican military had stationed troops on their country’s southern and northern border. And that created a disincentive for illegals to make that treacherous trip.”
He said he was pleased to see Republicans and many Democrats going to the border to gain first-hand knowledge of the situation, “but not Biden administration officials.”
“As much as you see on the news what is happening there, by being there you get a full, honest, direct understanding from where it is happening,” he said. “There is nothing like it.”
Meuser said 32,000 people were on the phone lines and online for the town hall.
In his opening remarks, Meuser talked about the various stimulus packages being passed by Congress.
And while he admitted there were good things in the recent $1.9 trillion relief package, there was much in the bill, he contended, that wasn’t directly related to COVID vaccine and health issues. This is why he didn’t vote for it, he said.
Because of the one-hour time limitation, only about 10 constituent calls were able to be taken during the question and answer period of the event. Most of them were questions about missed individual stimulus payments or confusion about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documentation. Kate Hunyady, District Congressional Liaison at the IRS, was on hand to answer those questions.
“I want to drive home three points,” Hunyady said, after answering specific constituent questions.
“We are still very much in the process of distributing the third round of Economic Impact Payments, so if you haven’t received it yet, it is definitely too soon to panic,” she said. “We are still issuing those.”
Secondly, Hunyady said, “the only way to get payments from the first two rounds of stimulus is to file a 2020 tax return and claim the recovery rebate credit.
“And finally, please be patient if you are still waiting for your 2019 return to process,” she said. “Please respond to any correspondence from the IRS regarding your return as quickly as possible.”