Mike McCaul campaigns hard for homeland security post

By Gary Jacobson

December 7, 2016 at 7:16am

Texas Rep. Mike McCaul wants the job - secretary of the Department of Homeland Security - badly. His actions the past few days seem like an all-out campaign to convince president-elect Donald Trump that he’s the right person for the cabinet post.

Friday, in an op-ed published on, the Republican said the U.S. would indeed build the border wall and he proposed putting Mexico on a payment plan to pay of it.

Mike McCaul
Mike McCaul

“We will take a military-style approach by giving our border and immigration agencies the real command-and-control they need to make it happen,” he wrote.

His newsletter to constituents over the weekend linked to his payment plan proposal and referred to the attack at Ohio State University. McCaul reminded readers of a bill he introduced last year to stop the flow of Syrian refugees because of potential high risk.

“Not only of terrorists coming in, but the idea that once they’re here, they have the potential to self-radicalize and kill,” he wrote.

McCaul, currently chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, gets another opportunity to make his case today (Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day) in what’s being billed as his annual State of Homeland Security Address at the Heritage Foundation.

He “will discuss America’s defenses against terrorists, the crisis at our borders, and the silent war being waged against us in cyberspace,” according to the foundation’s web site.

In early November, McCaul faulted Hillary Clinton for exposing her private email server to foreign hackers and said, in his opinion, it was “treason.”

McCaul, who has served in the House since 2005, has been called one of the wealthiest members of Congress, though still not in the billionaire class of some Trump favorites.

His wife, Linda, is the daughter of Lowry Mays, who founded what became Clear Channel Communications.

According to Travis County property records, Linda and Mike McCaul own a 14,000-square-foot house with 9 bathrooms on the western fringes of Austin. For tax purposes, the 1.85-acre property is valued at about $4.9 million. Linda also is listed as the owner of a two-bedroom high-rise condo in downtown Austin valued at $1.75 million.

Austin is the most gerrymandered big city in the nation. Slices of six congressional districts meander through the city. McCaul represents the Texas 10th, which stretches to the Houston suburbs.

Though Austin and surrounding Travis County vote overwhelmingly for Democrats - more than 2 to 1 for Clinton in the last election - five of those representatives are Republican.

Update: The New York Times reported later Wednesday that Trump had decided on John F. Kelly to be secretary of homeland security. However, the job had not yet been offered, since Kelly was out of the country.

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