Heard on the Hill

Bipartisan Road Trip Leads to Bipartisan Bills

O’Rourke and Hurd sign on to each other’s legislation they discussed in the car

Reps. Beto O'Rourke (left) and Will Hurd exchanged gifts at their Friday bill-signing. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Two days after their bipartisan road trip from Texas to D.C. Republican Rep. Will Hurd and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke put their names on the first practical thing to come out of all that time in the car together.

The two talked about what legislation each was working on during their two days together and what the other might be able to sign on to. 

Commenters during their livestream of their 31-hour drive encouraged them to follow through on the collegial mood of the trip and hoped that the two could bring bipartisanship back to Washington.

On Friday, they each put their names on one another’s bills and did so, of course, while livestreaming to about 300 viewers.

Hurd signed on as a co-sponsor to O’Rourke’s American Families United Act. And O’Rourke signed on to Hurd’s American Law Enforcement Heroes Act.

The two bills before they signed them. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)
The two bills before they signed them. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

 

[Bipartisan Road Trip Arrives at the Capitol Just in Time for Votes]

“Many of you, when we were traveling across the country, asked me to try to get him on this bill,” O’Rourke said at the signing. “Many of you commented in and asked Will to look at it. He made the commitment to you that he would, and so today we’re going to formally add him as a co-sponsor.”

The bill allows family members of U.S. citizens who are barred from ever re-entering the United States because of a technical violation to go to a federal judge to determine if that person can return.

Hurd’s bill would authorize federal funds to have local police departments hire veterans as career law enforcement officers.

“Thanks for getting the two of us together and supporting us on this trip,” Hurd said to viewers on the livesteam.

[Reps. Hurd and O’Rourke Make Bipartisan Buddy Movie]

The two also exchanged gifts.

O’Rourke gave Hurd a green tie for St. Patrick’s Day because he wasn’t wearing any green, and Hurd had the map on which he sketched out their route at the beginning of their trip framed and presented it to O’Rourke.

The framed map Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, drew. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)
The framed map Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, sketched out at the beginning of their trip. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

It had folds in it from riding along in Hurd’s pocket and a Chik-fil-A iced coffee stain, Hurd said. It also didn’t include the arrival into D.C., which the two laughed about.

“I was planning on dumping the body,” Hurd said.

[Will and Beto's Excellent Adventure]

Most members of the Texas congressmen’s staffs had not met before their bosses carpooled across the country, so they arranged a joint reception for them to get to know one another.

“Well, America, hope you enjoyed this,” Hurd said Friday, signing off on their livestream.

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