Like his counterpart Ron DeSantis in Florida, Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott is obsessed with pleasing Donald Trump’s base and becoming a foil to President Joe Biden through any means at his disposal, including harmful, divisive legislation, unconstitutional executive orders, litigation, and media manipulation.
However, Abbott’s eagerness for conflict with the federal government has now landed him in hot water with the business community, both in and beyond Texas. Business leaders are furious that truck traffic across the border with Mexico has mostly ground to a halt due to the implementation of Abbott’s scheme requiring trucks to be “inspected” by state level officials answerable to him.
Abbott and his fans call it “Operation Lone Star.”
Pretty much everyone else calls it stupid.
“The new inspections measures are creating havoc and economic pain on both sides of the border, and as a this Quad-State region suffers, so is Texas and vice-versa,” noted two Mexican state-level governors. “Unfortunately, political points have never been a good recipe to address common challenges or threats.”
But Abbott seemingly doesn’t care. He made it clear today that he does not want or intend to unwind the scheme without more symbolic “agreements” with Mexican states that he can use to claim that he’s getting results.
Last week, the President of the Transportation Club of DFW predicted in comments to the Dallas Morning News that Abbott’s scheme would lead to “chaos.” Said Norma Jean Payne: “We’ve had so many problems in our supply chain over the last year and a half, two years — I don’t think anything that’s going to delay or cause any more problems is a wise decision right now.”
“There’s got to be a better way to handle this,” she added.
Fellow Republican Sid Miller, Texas’ Agriculture Commissioner, called on Abbott to back down and rescind the scheme, saying: “You cannot solve a border crisis by creating another crisis at the border. These Level 1 inspections serve as a ‘clog in the drain’ and divert commerce and jobs to more western ports of entry.”
“This is not solving the border problem, it is increasing the cost of food and adding to supply chain shortages. Such a misguided program is going to quickly lead to $2.00 lemons, $5.00 avocados and worse.”
Miller has also openly broken with Abbott in comments to reporters, saying: “This has really backfired on him. It’s compounded the problem, in my opinion.”
Abbott’s Democratic general election opponent Beto O’Rourke traveled to Laredo to address the people of the Lone Star State from one of its busiest border crossings, excoriating Abbott for choking essential commerce.
“Higher prices, more supply chain problems, fewer groceries and goods in our stores. Abbott is hurting the Texas economy,” O’Rourke tweeted today.
The White House, meanwhile, released a scathing statement blasting Abbott and making it unequivocally clear that he and his regime are to blame for the mess.
“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a message published around 8:17 AM Central Time.
“Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding five hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as sixty percent. The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed. Governor Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families.”
Abbott is seeking reelection to another term as governor of Texas this autumn. He was easily renominated a few weeks ago in the state’s Republican primary, dispatching Allen West and other rivals. West is among the Republicans who have criticized Abbott’s border-related schemes, calling them counterproductive.