Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has told President Donald Trump to consider allowing Texas to help build the proposed wall along the southern border.
The conversation took place during Trump’s visit to McAllen on Thursday, during which he held a roundtable discussion with several statewide officials and border patrol officers.
“One of the things that Dan Patrick suggested, which I thought was very interesting, was: Give the state of Texas a relatively small amount of money — they’ll build a wall themselves, cause they wanna build it,” Trump remarked after the meeting.
Patrick’s office confirmed the exchange, telling Texas Scorecard, “The lieutenant governor told the president that if the federal government will reimburse the state for that money, we will build the wall in the areas where it is needed along our 1,254 mile border — the largest border with Mexico of any state.”
Patrick met with White House officials in Washington earlier this week, including Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, to help craft President Trump’s primetime address on border security.
Patrick acknowledged having missed the ceremonial opening of the legislative session in order to make the meeting during a press conference from the front lawn of the Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday morning.
“When the White House calls, you go,” Patrick said.
Since taking office in 2015, Patrick has insisted that the state budget over the past four years include resources for state law enforcement agencies to help combat the national security and humanitarian crises along the state’s southern border, amounting to $800 million during both bienniums.
Patrick has since advocated for maintaining the increased level of funding during budget negotiations during this legislative session.