Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) met with area business owners, community leaders and public servants last week, to talk about the state of Washington politics, as well as his new position as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
McCaul stopped in on his way to meet with Gov. Rick Perry in Houston.
McCaul started off the meeting by telling members that the infighting between the two parties is due to one side being stuck in perpetual campaign mode, instead of governing. His specific target was President Obama.
"He is in a mode where he says let's talk about immigration reform, let's talk about everything but the economy," McCaul said. "He's in campaign mode."
McCaul told the audience that despite his position on the Homeland Security Committee, he hasn't been invited to the White House for meetings once.
"No attempt, despite all the talk about coming together," he said.
McCaul focused a lot of his criticism on the White House and Democrats in the Senate not passing a budget in the last four years; instead they have relied on continuing resolutions just to keep the government running.
"Four years without a budget," he said. "It's one of the most irresponsible things I have ever seen."
He also said that the recent Presidential election was about scaring voters, rather than talking about tough budgetary decisions that need to be made.
"This president won the election pandering to people that receive entitlement benefits," he said. "He was scaring the hell out of people."
McCaul said that Obama's recent attempts to demonize Republicans in the eyes of the voters don't help solve the problems facing the nation.
"We all agree that there needs to be a safety net, that we need to help those less fortunate, but it shouldn't be permanent," he said.
"Greece. That's where we are headed if we don't change our way," he added, referring to the debt riddled nation with a struggling economy.
McCaul went on to talk about his ascension to the chairman's seat of the Homeland Security Committee.
The Congressman went on to say there are numerous things he currently disagrees with the Obama administration on, specifically naming the Benghazi attacks and al-Qaeda's presence in Africa.
(The Obama administration's) narrative is that the al-Qaeda threat is over," McCaul said. "The African theater proves it is not."
McCaul said that al-Qaeda has seen resurgence since the Arab Spring uprising in North Africa, raising money and securing weapons.
"Al-Qaeda has reconstituted in North Africa, raised $100 million and grabbed arms caches from Libya, so we need to make sure that stays over there," he said. "These are serious weapons when compared to what they or the Taliban possessed."
Another concern of McCaul's are the recent calls from the Arab world to release Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, otherwise known as the Blind Sheik, who was convicted and jailed in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. McCaul said the fact that the United States has imprisoned Rahman, combined with recent al-Qaeda chatter promising "shocking" attacks in the U.S., is a big concern to him and members of his committee.
When it comes to the Benghazi attacks, McCaul said he has a hard time reconciling the stories presented by the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with other accounts presented about the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador.
"I brought up a classified security document that was sent to (Clinton's) office and she admitted that she never saw it, her staff never saw it – well, who saw it?" he said.