Fighting Drugs From the Other Side of the Border

Houston Republican Michael McCaul and Laredo Democrat Henry Cuellar want Congress to fight borderland drug smuggling from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. From Capitol Hill, Jodi Breisler reports.

McCaul and Cuellar want Congress to rethink its border security strategy from defense to offense.

"We want to work with the Mexican government and make sure they stop their drug cartels- I think what is it about $24 billion dollars of drugs- when you look at the cocaine that's consumed in the United States, 90% of it comes from Mexico."

The Bush Administration has proposed a $1.4 billion aid package to help the Mexican government. McCaul says critics want reassurance the money would be well used.

"And that's why it's going to be important for Congressman Cuellar and I to brief the relevant policy makers. Because they have a lot of questions about it. And I think we can come back with some valuable information and experiences that we had talking to President Calderon face to face for on hour about our impressions."

On Tuesday Cuellar and McCaul are holding a field hearing in Laredo about United States Mexico cooperation on emergency communications. Funding for interagency cooperation and fighting drug cartels could go into the supplemental budget this summer.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington, I'm Jodi Breisler, Houston Public Radio News.