September 14, 2013

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September 14, 2013
Congressional Report
Dear Friends,

This week marked the end of August District Work Period and my return to Washington, D.C. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my activities and updates from this week of session.


Update on Syria

I am encouraged by President Obama’s decision to postpone his call for a vote by Congress on the use of military force in Syria. Our nation has been at war for over a decade and I think Americans are wary of expending our financial resources and possibly risking lives in another military action.

We need to exhaust all diplomatic solutions, but the reality is that if the threat of American military action had not been on the table, we likely would not be in a position to pursue a diplomatic course that both takes an inventory of Assad's stockpile of chemical weapons, and ends the use of those weapons. To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, I ask the Administration to ‘trust, but verify’.

I will be keeping a close eye on the developments in the near future to make certain that we have a workable solution to the question of chemical weapons in Syria.

Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) Press Conference

On Thursday, I spoke alongside my colleagues Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL27), Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ8), and Congressman David Valadao (R-CA21) in a press conference hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) on the need to pass Immigration Reform.

The time is now for Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform.  I urge my colleagues in Washington to move forward on a proposal that will keep our borders safe and reform our broken immigration system. 


Congressman Cuellar speaks on the need for immigration reform with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL27), Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ8), and Congressman David Valadao (R-CA21)

South Texas Immigration Forum

This weekend, I participated in an immigration forum in South Texas hosted by fellow Congressman Filemon Vela. Also in attendance were our colleagues Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Rep. Pete Gallego, and Rep. Gene Green.

This was a great opportunity, as a Congressman representing the border region, to discuss in an open public form the challenges we face and our unified commitment to reform our country's immigration system.
                       

Congressman Cuellar (left) addressing the need for immigration reform at an open forum hosted by Congressman Filemon Vela (right) in South Texas.

Outreach Coordinator Attends STEP Program Meeting in Jourdanton, TX

My outreach coordinator for Atascosa, McMullen, and Wilson Counties, Gilbert La Fuente, attended a Service, Transmission, Exploration, and Production Safety (STEPS) meeting in Jourdanton, Texas to discuss the impact Eagle Ford Shale has had on the community and the importance of practicing highway traffic safety.

STEPS is a non-profit organization co-sponsored by Coastal Bend College, dedicated in hosting open forums to garner community involvement and discussion and raise awareness of significant matters affecting the area.

To view community testimonials regarding the meeting click the link below:
http://www.coastalbend.edu/OneColumn.aspx?pageid=11051&terms=STEPS


Commemorating 9/11

This Wednesday, we marked 12 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We will never forget the innocent lives lost and the heroic actions of police, firefighters, and ordinary citizens who defended our country that day and every day. God Bless our men and women in uniform and God Bless America.

Congressman Cuellar participates in a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony with Members of Congress in front of our National's Capitol
                      
Affordable Care Act (ACA): Update

In 3 weeks, on October 1st, the new Health Insurance Marketplace will officially open.

This marketplace will provide you with the resources to compare and contrast various private health insurance plans to ultimately decide which one best fits your needs and budget.

I would like to share with you some recent information released from the Department of Health and Human Services on how the Health Care Law will benefit senior citizens and improve Medicare.

1. Reduces Prescription Drug Costs for Senior Citizens
- Since the enactment of the health care law, more than 6.6 million seniors in the Medicare Part D 'doughnut hole' coverage gap have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs, an average savings of $1,061 per senior.

2. Provides Free Medicare Coverage of Key Preventive Services
- Within the past two years, around 50.6 million senior citizens thus far, have already received one more preventive services for FREE

3. Provides a Free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare
- 4.4 million seniors have already received a free annual wellness visit under medicare

4. Provides additional saving for Seniors, including Slower Premium Growth and a Lower Deductible

5. Strengthens Medicare and Extends the Solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by Nearly a Decade
-  A more efficient system without reducing benefits

6. Provides New Tools and Enhanced Authority to Crack Down on Fraud in Medicare
- Within the past four years, a joint partnership between the Dept. of Health and Human Services' anti-medicare fraud task force and the Dept. of Justice have already recovered nearly $15 billion in fraudulent medicare payments on behalf of taxpayers.

Want to learn more about the benefits and resources the new health care law can provide for you? 

Visit: www.healthcare.gov or https://www.cuidadodesalud.gov/es/.

or Call the toll-free consumer call center at: 1-800-318-2596

                                         

Sincerely,

Congressman Henry Cuellar



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