August 31, 2013

August 31, 2013
Congressional Report
Dear Friends,

I would like to provide you with an update from the fourth week of the August District Work Period, which I have spent across the 28th Congressional District of Texas .

8th Annual Border Health Conference - Laredo, TX

On Friday, August 23rd, I co-hosted the 8th Annual Border Health Conference in collaboration with the Border Health Caucus/Texas Medical Association.

This was the first time the conference was held in Texas and on the border.  I was pleased to welcome representatives from the Mexican government, at the state and federal levels, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas State government, among others. Some of our notable attendees included: 
  • Hilda Davila, General Director of International Relations, Mexico Health Secretariat - Mexico, D.F.
  • Alfredo Rodriguez Trujillo, Director of Epidemiology, Tamaulipas State Health Services
  • Hector Gonzales, MD, Director, City of Laredo Health Department
  • Jose Luis Velasco, M.S.W., Executive Director, U.S. Section of the US-Mexico Border Health Commission
  • Dr. Jeremias Guzman, Institute for Mexican Abroad, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Federal Government - Mexico, D.F.
  • Hector Gonzales, MD, Director, City of Laredo Health Department
  • Al Almanza, USDA Food Safety Inspection Service Administrator
  • Humberto Garza, District Staff for Congressman Filemon Vela, US Representative for Texas’s 34th Congressional District
  • Robert Harris, Commander, US Customs and Border Protection
  • Video message from Congressman Michael Burgess (TX-26)
  • Joe Ibarra, Latino Engagement at Enroll America of Texas
  • Chris Traylor, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Congressman Cuellar speaks to the media about border health challenges with L-R: Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, Border Caucus Vice Chairman Luis Benavides, Texas Medical Association President Dr. Stephen Brotherton, and Director General for International Relations of the Mexican Department of Health, Hilda Dávila.   

Communities along the border face a unique set of challenges in providing healthcare to their citizens. The goal of the conference was to successfully find a way to address the disparity between needs and resources for our cities along the border, in order to serve as a model for all under-served communities across our nation.

Congresssman Cuellar provides the keynote speech at the 8th Annual Border Health Conference in Laredo, Texas, introducing the conference, panelists, and key issues of border healthcare.

Grant Coordinators Host Seminar for Small Businesses

On Thursday, August 29th, my grant coordinators hosted a seminar at Laredo Community College - South  which provided attendees with resources for small businesses applying contracts with federal, state, or local governments through the Small Business Administration Department of Housing and Urban Development Zone Programs.

Sean Smith, Small Business Opportunity Specialist with the Small Business Association, presents guidance to small businesses in Webb County and the Rio Grande Valley on the process of applying for a contract with state or local governments.

The seminar provided an opportunity for trained counselors to answer questions for business owners in Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley, as well as the opportunity to provide step-by-step guidance for becoming a general contractor or sub-contractor participating on federal government contracts. 

Immigration Reform Town Hall Meeting with Bishop Tamayo

On Thursday, I spoke with Bishop James Tamayo at a town hall meeting attended by more than 200 Laredoans about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Bishop Tamayo presented the Catholic Church's position on immigration reform and encouraged audience members to actively advocate for reform and highlighted individual stories of immigrant families. I provided an updated on the current status of legislation regarding immigration reform in the United States Congress and discussed the benefits immigration reform will bring to the United States economy.

Congressman Cuellar speaks at a town hall meeting on the need for immigration reform with Bishop James Tamayo in Laredo, TX.  

Immigration is not a new phenomenon and it is one we are especially familiar with in South Texas. We must take advantage of the current momentum and desire for change to come to an agreement that protects our borders, provides for a sensible guest worker plan, and takes the 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.
Outreach Coordinators Attend Events Across the 28th District

This week, my outreach coordinator, Gilbert La Fuente, attended a meeting with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development meeting in Seguin, Texas.

I continue to appreciate the support of USDA in making federal resources accessible across Texas - District 28.

Atascosa, McMullen, and Wilson Counties Outreach Coordinator Gilbert La Fuente met with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials to discuss updates on federal resources

In addition, Alexis Gallegos, my Outreach Coordinator for Hidalgo County, met with Mission Historical Museum Director Luis D. Contreras to tour the museum facility and discuss funding for potential improvement projects.

Hidalgo County Outreach Coordinator Alexis Gallegos meets with Mission Historical Museum Director Luis D. Contreras

2013-2014 TIPS: How to Maximize Money for College

College Students: If this is your first semester, it is important to ensure you become familiar with the processes of your college’s financial aid office.  Navigate through the financial aid link. 

Go by the financial aid office and make sure all scholarship and grant information is posted on their link.  Many offices have scholarship applications located in their offices.  Make sure you have accepted your financial aid. 

Read the requirements of each and all scholarships you have been awarded to ensure you meet the required courseload as well as GPA.  The next office to visit is the Bursar’s Office (Business Office) to find out how to use your financial aid to pay for your classes, if you can use financial aid to charge your books/supplies, and finally to inquire when you will receive any remaining funds. 

If your dorm will be paid out of the financial aid you should navigate through the business office to view and print a receipt containing all aid awarded as well as charges to ensure the accuracy of the balance. 

Satisfactory Academic Performance requirements must be met in order to maintain and continue to qualify for financial aid for subsequent semesters.  PELL is only awarded for a maximum of 12 semesters.

Types of Aid: 1) grants (free $$) & Scholarships (free $$), 2) Loans ($ you need to pay back), and 3) work-study (student employment).

IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID LINKS:  (Hispanic Scholarship Fund)   (Gates Millenium Scholarship)

**Information provided by  Dr. Rick Moreno, Director of Texas A&M International University, GEAR UP IV, Office of Special Programs - 



Congressman Henry Cuellar 




Washington D.C. Office
2431 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-1640
fax: 202-225-1641

San Antonio Office
615 E. Houston Street, Suite 563
San Antonio, Texas 78205
phone: (210)271-2851
fax: (210) 277-6671
toll free: 1 (877) 780-0028

Laredo Office
602 E. Calton Road, Suite 2
Laredo, Texas 78041
phone: (956) 725-0639
fax: (956) 725-2647

Rio Grande Office
100 N. F.M. 3167
Rio Grande City, Texas 78582
phone: (956) 487-5603
fax: (956) 488-0952

Mission Office
117 E. Tom Landry
Mission, Texas 78572
phone: (956) 424-3942
fax: (956) 424-3936