GOP lawmaker: If there's an immigration crisis, the people dealing with it 'should get paid'

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday that if there is a humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, then federal workers dealing with it should get compensated. 

“If this is a crisis, the people dealing with this crisis should get paid," Hurd, who represents a district stretching from San Antonio to El Paso, said on CNN shortly after President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE delivered an address from the Oval Office on Tuesday. 

Trump gave a prime-time address as a partial government shutdown enters its third week, and argued that a humanitarian crisis was taking place at the southern border.


He also reiterated his request for $5.7 billion for a physical structure along the southern border, which Democrats have repeatedly opposed. 

Hurd said afterward that Trump's speech didn't address "anything new."

"Unfortunately, I don’t think either side put forward any initiatives that are going to move the ball forward," he said, before adding that the one "bright spot" of Trump's address was that he didn't declare a national emergency. 

Trump last week threatened to take that step as part of an effort to build a border wall. 

"I’ve been very clear that building a 35-foot high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security," Hurd later said. 

He also said, among other things, that improving border security will come from giving departments such as the U.S. Coast Guard more resources. 

“Everyone tries to act like this is some scary drug cartel movie back in the day," he said. "The reality is that there are people sneaking into the country, we can stop that if we have smart solutions, and that's ultimately going to be relying on technology."

Hurd was one of seven Republican lawmakers to vote for a Democratic bill that included a continuation of $1.3 billion authorized for fencing in fiscal 2018, according to Roll Call. The bill did not include funds for a border wall.