GLENN: Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the federal government is beginning to accept contract bids for the building of the wall along the border with Mexico.
Governor Abbott, have you heard anything about that?
GREG: I have. But before I say that, I know you have listeners from across the world. But here in the state of Texas, we're celebrating Texas Independence Day.
GLENN: I know.
GREG: This is the day we became an independent nation ourself, many years ago, on March the 2nd.
GLENN: Yeah. We have a last piece in our serial this week. We've been doing Texas history. At the bottom of this hour, the last -- is it the last one? Or is tomorrow the last one?
PAT: Tomorrow is the last one.
GLENN: Tomorrow is the last one. Today we talk about Davy Crockett and Sam Houston. Which Sam Houston is an amazing guy. Has to be a governor that you look back on and say, "How could I be half the man that he was?"
I mean, taking on and standing against slavery in the South --
STU: At that time.
GLENN: -- at that time was a big deal. That guy was really brave.
GREG: He's amazing. And as I speak to you this moment, I'm speaking to you from the Sam Houston bedroom in the governor's mansion in the state of Texas. I'm living in a governor's mansion that Sam Houston lived in.
PAT: That's pretty cool.
GREG: And so the historical connection is profound.
GLENN: Yeah. So, Greg, let's talk a little bit about the border wall. Do you believe it is actually going to be built?
GREG: Oh, I know it is. And as you were alluding to in your intro, the request for bids has already been issued. And people are making bids right now. The time period for the bids closes here in just a couple of weeks. The bid will be announced in early April. Meaning that the work is going to begin in early April. So the administration is moving very quickly on this.
This round of bids is what's called a first tranche. And it will involve three sections across the border. One of the sections is in Texas. It's near what we call the Presidio region. It's going to be about 1- to 200 miles southeast of El Paso, Texas. It's that border-crossing area that has been penetrated heavily by cartel activity. And it's kind of in urgent need to build the wall in that sector.
The other two new sectors will be in other states. I think, if I recall correctly, it is in New Mexico and Arizona.
Bottom line, this is the first of what should be three different tranches of adding wall to the border. And this is going to get done.
PAT: So, Governor, are they keeping you in that loop? Are you being involved in those discussions? Because it would seem pretty logical for you to be a part of that.
GREG: Yes. I just returned from a five-day trip to Washington, DC, visiting with administration officials. And this is where it was first announced to us, being the governors. We have an annual governors' conference in Washington, DC, at the end of February. And one of the topics was the border wall. And it was told to us at that time what was going to be taking place at the border. But frankly before that, several weeks before that, I was on a flyover of the border with a new secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, when we were talking about the very issue. So at multiple levels in multiple time frames, I've been informed about what's going on, and they are keeping Texas in the loop.
GLENN: So do you see a time, in a short period, relatively speaking, where the border is actually closed off, with a big, beautiful door?
GREG: Well, remember this, and that is, there are large segments of the Texas Mexico border and US-Mexico border that already have walls along there. Several weeks ago, I had US Homeland Security secretary John Kelly. And we flew around. And he got to see for the first time for him the border wall as it currently exists in the Rio Grande valley. And so there are large multi-mile segments of border wall already there, that are working very effectively, that serve as a funneling device for those who are trying to cross the border, especially cracking down on the cartels and what they are trying to do along the border.
GLENN: How are you going to get around the people who say you're going to cut my land in half -- I know this will be a favorite question of yours. The EPA.
GREG: The EPA is under a new regime. One of the people I met with in Washington, DC, is Scott Pruitt, the new EPA administrator. And he is restoring the EPA to its original intent, which is not to be the dictator-in-chief in Washington, DC.
But the EPA is supposed to work in collaboration with the states. And believe me, that's exactly what he's going to do. The EPA challenges will be greatly diminished. That aside, we know that private parties will be filing lawsuits along those lines.
But going back to the first part of your question, a lot of the easements, a lot of the right-to-ways (phonetic) have already either been purchased or agreements entered into by the United States government. Remembering this, because people forget, it was under the Bush administration that the border wall -- or let's call it border fence. They call it different names. Was initially entered into. If I recall correctly -- don't hold me to this, but you'll know this. And you'll be able to bring it up later.
I think even people like Nancy Pelosi voted in favor of it at the time. So there was a border fence in the territory or land needed for that border fence, stretching from Brownsville all the way to San Diego. And many of the segments are already either owned or have building rights by the federal government.
That said, there are portions that the federal government does not have. It could be private land. It could be other parts of land they don't have. And they will work around that.
But let's go back to kind of the premise you're talking about here. And that is, I can't tell you there's going to be a yard by yard border wall stretching from Brownsville, Texas, to El Paso, Texas. There could be segments where there is not a border wall. But what I do know from talking to the administration, learning about what their game plan is, and that is, they are finally going to regain sovereign control over the border through multiple layers of security. One of those layers is a wall. A key factor is even a wall alone is not going to stop cross-border activity. You have to have boots on the ground so they are dedicating 5,000 more border patrol agents. Many more ICE agents so that they have the personnel which are needed, but also the detection equipment, the boats, the planes, cameras, et cetera, so that they are going to regain control of our border.
GLENN: So, Governor Abbott, how do we make this -- I mean, here's the problem that we've had now with the last administration. And, quite honestly, I fear with this administration, is it's not -- we're not changing laws, and we're not strengthening the laws. What we're doing is strengthening the Oval Office and the administration.
So this president can be great on the border. But what do we do -- what do we have at the end of this that, in four years or eight years, somebody else doesn't just come in and reverse it all?
GREG: Well, you raised an important issue from two perspectives: First of all, what the Trump administration really is doing is -- is -- as you say, they're not making new laws. They're finally applying and enforcing the laws, as they have long existed. The reason why we're in the problem that we are in today is because over a period of decades, there's been a gradual erosion in the enforcement of the laws.
And this is what's going to happen. When you refuse and fail to enforce the laws, in that people will continue to gradually evade them and not abide by them. And that is what has led us to the position today, where a new administration finally says, "We have to put up a wall."
After the -- after the current administration -- listen, life changes. And you can't say for certainty. Someone may not come back in and tear down the wall. Here's what we need to do to make it more effective. And that is, if you look at some of the concerns raised about the wall, especially concerns raised by Mexico, what really needs to be done is to establish both a better attitude and a better approach about why we're doing it. This is not a signal of hostility towards Mexico. This is a signal of our own concern of protecting our own home.
It's the way that you or your listeners act probably every night, that is many of you lock your doors at night. You don't lock your doors at night because you don't like your neighbor next door. You want to protect your own safety and your own family, living in friendship with your neighbors.
And that's the attitude that we need to foster with Mexico. Mexico is our neighbor. And we need to have a good relationship with Mexico. And we need to be respectful of them, and they need to be respectful of us enforcing our rule of law and protecting our own sovereignty. We can foster that goodwill while building a border. This will be a border wall. This will be -- and maintain our positive -- Mexico is a huge trade partner with us.
If we can do all of that, Glenn, this will be something that will have a lasting effect, a positive effect for both Texas, the United States, and Mexico.
GLENN: How do you feel about a tariff on Mexico?
GREG: You know, I've heard a lot of analysis about this. And especially when I was in Washington, DC, this past week and go through the analysis, and here is what I am hearing: It's called the border adjustment tax, or the bat tax. And I'm hearing the real reason for that is to pay for the other corporate tax reduction.
And when people talk about going through the mathematical equation of how the border adjustment tax is supposed to work, it seems like it keeps running into challenges. And I hear that the administration may not be in favor -- I hear the US Senate may not be in favor of it.
I hear that businesses may not be in favor of it.
And so it seems like it keeps running into obstacle after obstacle. And I would say it's tough to predict that the border adjustment tax will actually come into effect.
GLENN: We're just going to run out of time with you. So let me just get to the Convention of States. Passed in the Senate, are we going to see this push through? And do you have any idea what happened to Utah or other states as you're meeting with the border -- or, with the governors?
Are other states jumping on board, or is this taking a backseat now?
GREG: On the Texas side, remember that in the last legislative session that we had two years ago, the Convention of States' plan passed in the Texas House of Representatives.
So there's every reason to expect that those same representatives will not change their votes. They will vote the same way they did last time -- and so -- and it did not pass in the Texas Senate last time. So getting it passed in the Texas Senate was a game-changer. And it should lead to the passage in the state of Texas of the Convention of States.
Texas will join now a growing number of states that have passed a Convention of States. And when we do so, it unleashes me and other leaders in the state of Texas to explain to people across the country why this is needed. Remember this -- and I know we're running out of time. But let me make this really important point. And that is, I was not one of the leaders or a promoter of the Convention of States up until recently. What changed me and what brought this out of me, it was very simple, it was more than a philosophical idea. It was a practical idea.
My necessity for passing a Convention of States was borne out of filing 31 lawsuits against the Obama administration and realizing how not just the federal government, but the federal courts have been broken in, they had departed from our United States Constitution. And there's only one way that we as a country are going to restore our Constitution the way that it was intended, and that is for the people of the United States of America to take back our country and to restore the Constitution to what it was intended. Not rewrite it.
Remembering this, you, Glenn, you know, and your listeners know, you can recite what the Tenth Amendment said. And that is, all power not delegated to the United States in the Constitution is reserved to the states or to the people, period.
And that's the problem. It doesn't contain the additional clause that it needs, that says, and the states have the power to enforce the Tenth Amendment. And we need that additional clause in there so that courts will stop denying states the authority to enforce the Tenth Amendment.
GLENN: I think one of the best governors in America. In fact, people in Texas feel -- the last poll came out last week. Texans, asked their opinion of all of the statewide officeholders, including our US senators, who are awful popular here. Ted Cruz very popular, he -- Governor Abbott was the most popular by a wide margin. Congratulations on that. And thanks for being with us, Governor Abbott.
GREG: Thank you so much, Glenn. God bless.