December 13, 2015

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Congressional Report

Dear Friends,

In this week's congressional report, please find information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about applying for grants for damage sustained in storms during the month of October, as well as an informational video about avoiding fires with holiday decorations.

As you may be aware, there has been a recent increase in unaccompanied children coming to the southern border. For this reason, I have taken measures to make sure that we provide these children who come to our borders with the compassion and care they need while awaiting a court date to determine their immigration status. I have also asked for more federal judges throughout the United States to ease the backlog in cases. We must also make sure to provide adequate funding and support to our neighbors in Mexico and Central America to curb this dangerous trend of illegal immigration to the United States.

Lastly, my office has been helping spread the word about the Open Enrollment Period for obtaining health insurance, which ends January 31, 2016. Please contact any of my offices if you are interested in learning more about your health insurance options.

Congressman Cuellar Issues Statement on Increase In Unaccompanied Children Arriving at Southern Border

As I have warned repeatedly, we must not take our eye off the ball on the issues of curbing the flow of undocumented crossings of unaccompanied minors and families from Central America at our southern border. In October and November we saw 10,588 undocumented unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border, along with 12,505 family units -- more than double the number we saw in the same two months last year (5,129 and 4,577, respectively). Generally, over the last few years, the number of apprehensions decreases after the summer. However, this year, there has been a steady uptick in illegal crossings, causing concern that this year may be worse than 2014, when we saw 68,541 apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the southern border.

To read my complete statement, click here.

Roberta Jacobson's Ambassador Nomination Deserves Approval
This past week, Sen. John Cornyn and I sent a letter to several newspapers urging Congress to appoint Roberta Jacobson as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico:

The United States and Mexico share a 2,000-mile border, but our shared connections run much deeper than geographic proximity.

Mexico is our third-largest trading partner, with more than $550 billion in trade each year in goods and services since 2013. U.S. exports to Mexico have grown in recent years from approximately $129 billion in 2009 to $240 billion in 2014 — an increase of more than 86 percent. And of course, the personal bonds between our nations cannot be underestimated. More than 1 million Americans live in Mexico and an estimated 20 million tourists from the United States visit Mexico each year.

Because of our strong, long-lasting relationships, it is imperative that the United States have a full-time ambassador to Mexico.

To read the complete article, click here.

Congressional Advisory

Renters with Storm Damage May Apply for Disaster Assistance

Renters displaced from their homes or apartments by the October storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance, which may include grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

FEMA grants for eligible renters may include funds to cover the cost of renting another place to live.

Renters may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance (ONA). ONA grants help survivors with uninsured or underinsured expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.

To see if you are eligible, click here.

Meeting with Floresville Officials to Discuss USDA Programs to Improve Water and Sewage Systems

On December 6, my outreach coordinator for Wilson County, Gilbert La Fuente, met with Floresville officials to discuss USDA and CRG programs to improve water and sewage systems in the city. Pictured from left to right are Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner, Betty Soto of the USDA, Raul Gonzalez of CRG and Outreach Coordinator Gilbert La Fuente.
Health Care Enrollment Fair in Laredo
On December 5, my outreach coordinator for Webb, Zapata and La Salle Counties, Alec Martinez, met with families and individuals at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - Laredo Regional Campus to assist them with information on how to apply for affordable health insurance via the Markeplace. Pictured from left to right are Jose Medrano and Joe Ibarra with Enroll America, Outreach Coordinator Alec Martinez, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Under Regional Director Marjorie McColl Petty, and Julie Bazan of the Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC.

Enrolling Families in Health Insurance in the Rio Grande Valley
On December 9, my southern district outreach coordinator, Nichole Hernandez, participated in an Affordable Care Act health care enrollment and information session at the Palmview Library in McAllen, Texas. Be sure to sign up for health care before December 15 in order to receive to get coverage on January 1.

Holiday Fire Safety
Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. This video from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows how to prevent fires this holiday season.


Henry Cuellar

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Neighborhood Office Hours this week:

Tuesday, December 15

(call for appointment)
9:00am - 10:00am

McMullen County Courthouse
Commissioners Court Room
SH 16 at Elm Street
10:30am -11:30am
Tilden, TX

Christine City Office
102 S. 10th St.
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Christine, TX

(call for appointment)
10:30am - 11:30am
Adkins, TX

Windcrest City Hall
8601 Midtown
2:30pm - 3:30pm
Windcrest, TX

Bruni Community Center
303 12th Street
9:00am - 10:00am
Bruni, TX

Oilton Elementary School Library
300 DeSpain Street
10:30am - 11:30am
Oilton, TX

Thursday, December 17

Converse City Hall
403 Seguin
9:00am - 10:00am
Converse, TX

China Grove
(call for appointment)
10:30am - 11:30am
China Grove, TX

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