Some local representatives are raising concerns that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is “difficult to access,” but others said they have had successful meetings with the senator or his staffers.
Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin, who spent this week in Washington, D.C., for the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting, said he scheduled meetings with several state representatives’ staffers.
Corbin met Congressman John Carter’s staff, who he said were “well represented and attentive to our requests.” He also met with Congressman Roger Williams’ staff.
Although he was not able to meet with Cruz or U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, personally, Corbin met with their staffers, who gave him “the distinct impression that both the senators’ staffs could care less about Killeen, Texas,” he said.
The Senate recessed last week, and neither Cruz nor Cornyn was in D.C.
Polo Enriquez, executive director of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, said he and members of his staff met with several members of Cruz’s staff earlier this week while in D.C. for the AUSA meeting.
“We delivered our legislative agenda points to the staff and they listened, took notes and pledged to assist us in any way they can,” he said.
“That’s all we can really expect when we meet with staff and not the representatives directly.”
Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner said she and other city officials also met with Cruz’s staff this week and “had no issues.”
Joan Manning, Copperas Cove Independent School District board of trustees president, said the district has tried to meet with Cruz regarding Impact Aid, but was unsuccessful.
Impact Aid is a federal program that supplements local property tax losses for districts that cover federal land, including military posts.
“Basically it boils down to we haven’t been favored with any kind of meeting, and he is the only person that represents us in Washington that isn’t a member of the Impact Aid Coalition,” she said. “We haven’t had the opportunity to talk to him to know if he is or isn’t concerned with the military and Impact Aid.”
Manning said board of trustee representatives visit Washington, D.C., three to four times a year to meet with federal officials representing Texas.
“Every time we go to Washington, we set up meetings with our representatives and senators, but so far no meeting has happened with Sen. Cruz,” she said. “He is difficult to access.
“We always did have good representation with (former U.S. Sen.) Kay Bailey Hutchison, so it’s disappointing to have the person who takes her spot show no interest in what we are doing,” Manning added.
In an emailed statement, Cruz’s spokesman, Sean Rushton, said their D.C. staff was pleased to meet with the Killeen delegation and a member of Copperas Cove ISD to discuss important issues impacting their communities.
“Unfortunately, due to this week’s unscheduled recess, the senator was back in Texas and unable to attend when they were here,” Rushton said. “However, he plans to meet them in the future.”
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555