By Bill Lambrecht
WASHINGTON – After returning from a trip to the Middle East with House Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd won approval last week for his bill authorizing the U.S. government to design software for other countries to more easily screen for terrorists.
“Thousands of ISIS fighters have Western passports, and if our overseas partners don’t stop them first, we might have to confront them here at home,” Hurd, R-San Antonio, said on the House floor.
As he girds for his rematch with veteran Democrat Pete Gallego, Hurd is stressing his national security credentials and his effectiveness in the GOP-run House.
Republicans in Washington appear intent on keeping him around. His credentials as the only former CIA operative in Congress and his status as one of just two African Americans in the House GOP caucus continue to generate choice assignments for him and healthy financial backing.
Hurd was the only freshman among eight House members returning April 8 from a trip to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Germany led by Ryan, R-Wis. Hurd is enjoying robust fundraising – over $500,000 in the past three months – building a campaign cash advantage. Gallego, of Alpine, raised $312,000 in the first quarter of the year, he reported Thursday.
Hurd may need his hefty bank account, especially if Donald Trump becomes the GOP nominee. A Trump-led ticket could torpedo Hurd by bringing out Latino voters in a predominately Latino district, analysts are saying.