After securing his position in Texas’ 28th Congressional District for another two years, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, has advice for national Democrats following his successful election: “Listen to people like myself that are moderates.”
Cuellar told Acesparks Digital that while speaking to former President Bill Clinton after his congressional win, they both agreed that “Democrats need to listen to people like myself that are moderates, and especially when it comes to border issues, certainly when it comes to energy .”
Cuellar has a history of disagreeing with his fellow Democratic House members, being the only pro-life Democrat in Congress and frequently pushing for stricter border security.
“With all due respect to the Republicans, this was not a red wave in south Texas,” Cuellar said. “That didn’t even add to a pink ripple,”
DEMOCRATIC REP. CUELLAR WINS RE-ELECTION IN TEXAS SOUTHERN BORDER DISTRICT
Cuellar also added that he thinks a GOP-controlled House is “going to depend on a lot of moderate Democrats to get the job done.”
“I always use the words of President LBJ, where he said, ‘I’m an American, I’m a Texan and then a Democrat.’ And I say that applies to Democrats and Republicans. We might be Democrats and Republicans, but don’t go represent your country, represent your country.”
REP. HENRY CUELLAR SAYS OBVIOUSLY THE BORDER IS NOT SECURE
Cuellar, a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, is known for not always agreeing with his Democratic colleagues on issues related to border security.
Re-elected to represent a southern border district, Cuellar expressed his support for securing the Texas border. “I believe in legal migration. But, you know, we want to see law and order at the border and not open borders,” he stated.
The moderate Democrat touted his successful election night, suggesting that his ability to pull in GOP support contributed greatly to his win.
“Look, I’m a congressman. I’m not sent to Washington to go make political statements. I go up there to govern. And in doing that, I work very well with Republicans. So that’s why I get crossover support,” Cuellar stated.
“If the Republicans win the majority, it’s going to be by a smaller amount than they thought they would,” the Democrat said, as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is expected to seek the role of speaker of the House if Republicans take control of Congress.
“Kevin McCarthy is going to have a heck of a time because there are already some Freedom Caucus folks saying, ‘We want this, we want that.’ And I think he’s going to run into the same type of problems as John Boehner and Ul Ryan,” he added referencing former GOP speakers he has worked with, “And it was a lot of us, moderate Democrats, that make things work and govern .”
“Hisnics, even though we’re not monolithic, we still support Democrats. They certainly support people like myself that have been strong on oil and gas, have been strong on border security, supporting law enforcement.”
Cuellar started serving in the Texas state House of Representatives in 1987, kick-starting his political career until eventually being elected to Congress in 2005.
Acesparks’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.