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Congressman Cuellar Named Chairman of Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism Subcommiteee
House Homeland Security Committee Appoints Cuellar as New Subcommittee Chairman in the House
Washington, Jan 28 -
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today announced that the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie G. Thompson, has appointed him as the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism. Congressman Cuellar will leave his post as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response, but will retain his membership on that committee as he assumes his new leadership role.
“This unique mission of securing our nation’s borders and fighting terrorism is vitally important to our nation and directly tied to my background as a native of our nation’s southern border,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Along our border are some of the world’s busiest trade ports and we collaboratively work to defend against threats of all kinds everyday. I thank Chairman Thompson for his faith in my ability to serve in this new leadership role as we confront those homeland security challenges of the 21st Century.”
Congressman Cuellar has served on the House Homeland Security Committee for three years and he’s been actively engaged in the work of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“With this opportunity, I will build upon my work with the Department of Homeland Security and I will actively pursue those border initiatives that will further secure our nation against terrorism, human smuggling, drug trafficking and the trading of weapons and illegal arms,” said Congressman Cuellar.
Since coming to Congress in 2005, Congressman Cuellar has authored dozens of border security related bills, including H.R. 1437 the Southern Border Security Taskforce Act of 2009 which directs DHS to create a security task force to coordinate the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement officials to protect U.S. border cities from the violence associated with drug trafficking, gunrunning, human smuggling and kidnapping.
In December 2009, this legislation was included in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), a bill that also falls into the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism.
Also in 2009, Congressman Cuellar authored legislation which was signed into law by the President in December that calls for a high-level U.S. Mexico Commission to increase interoperability between law enforcement agencies working to secure the border in the U.S. and in Mexico.
In the coming weeks, Congressman Cuellar and the Department of State will meet to determine how and when the commission will be created.
The House also passed in 2009 legislation authored by Congressman Cuellar calling for a Coast Guard mission analysis to determine the Coast Guard’s presence along the Rio Grande. The 1,800 mile river and international waterway separates the U.S. and Mexico and is vitally important to the interdiction of drugs, weapons and contraband.
“Securing our nation’s borders, shores and ports requires us to constantly assess the security gaps in place,” said Congressman Cuellar. “By identifying our vulnerabilities, we can work to resolve them and stay one step ahead of the threats of terrorism and those security challenges we face.”
Congressman Cuellar will replace Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) as the new chairman of the Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA-37) will assume chairmanship of Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response.
Congressman Cuellar will continue serving in the full committee of the House Homeland Security Committee and will still remain an active member of the Emergency Communications Subcommittee.
For more information on the House Committee on Homeland Security, please visit: http://hsc.house.gov/
Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.