Wood County’s new congressman, Lance Gooden of Terrell, stopped in Mineola Wednesday morning, May 29, to visit with constituents over coffee at McDonald’s and update residents on what’s happening, and in many cases not happening, in Washington.
Gooden, who was elected last November and took office in January, noted that the portion of Wood County that is in the 5th Congressional District is the eastern-most part. It stretches to some of the areas in eastern Dallas County, where he said “people are very different.”
Gooden said his top two priorities are winning back the U.S. House of Representatives for the Republican Party and making sure that President Donald Trump gains reelection.
Gooden, who succeeded eight-term Congressman Jeb Hensarling, said things have changed since the last time Hensarling spoke in Wood County. The Republicans lost their majority in the House.
The 2018 elections were not kind to Republicans, Gooden said. But he noted that 30 of the 41 districts that swung from the Republicans to the Democrats were swayed by a total of 18,000 votes, with some by margins of only a few hundred votes.
As a result, the Democrats hold the chairs of all the committees.
Gooden, who followed Hensarling onto the Financial Services Committee, said that while Hensarling served as the committee chairman, that role now is held by Democrat Maxine Waters.
Immigration is the top issue, Gooden said, but the Democrats refuse to address it because they know it is a losing proposition with the party’s liberal wing.
Moderates know it is important, Gooden said, but the Democratic Party in Washington has been “highjacked” by the far left.
“This is why nothing happens with the Democratic majority,” he said.
Some of the new Democratic members of the House have said they came to Washington to govern but have been caught up instead in rhetoric about impeaching the president.
He said the Democrats are making the same mistake Republicans made after taking over the House in 2010 when Barack Obama was in office. They were more focused on thwarting the president than passing meaningful legislation, and it backfired with Obama’s reelection in 2012.
And now history is repeating itself with the Democrats.
They seem more focused on whether to impeach the president than working on legislation.
Impeachment proceedings would result in a partisan vote in the House followed by exoneration in the Senate, Gooden explained, which could be a boost for Trump in 2020.
Gooden talked about one bill he has filed concerning sanctuary cities and another he plans to file requiring DNA testing for persons trying to immigrate who claim they are bringing their children.
Gooden said there have been cases where there was actually human trafficking involved, with the children not related to the person attempting to bring them into the country.
Gooden said that any legislation that appears to be bipartisan sees Democrats adding provisions that Republicans cannot support.
One of their aims is to target Republicans in swing districts to get them to support or oppose legislation that can be used as a tactic in the next election.
Gooden pointed to the importance of the 2020 elections in the Texas state house, which will determine which party will be in control when Congressional boundaries are realigned following the 2020 U.S. Census. He said that after the results off the 2018 election, the Democrats need only nine more seats to regain control of the state house.
Gooden said he will be helping the Republicans raise money for reelection campaigns and stumping for the president once his own party primary is completed next March.
He said the goal is to reach out to people who have not normally participated in government.
Gooden fielded questions on Social Security, border security and voter fraud before heading out to additional stops in the district during the Memorial Day break.
“Hearing from all of you makes me think I’m not crazy,” Gooden said, after some of the things he hears in Washington.