This week in Washington I took up a number of issues affecting Texas and my district. I announced increased funding to combat drug trafficking nation-wide and in Texas. I also announced that I was successful in including language in the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill to improve how we prevent food-borne illness at high-volume ports of entry, such as in my district.
You can also read more below about my district staff's outreach efforts.
During this month's Rio Grande Valley Coalition for Veterans meeting in McAllen,my southern district outreach coordinator, Nichole Hernandez, met with non-profit organizations, local colleges and veteran alliance groups to discuss better ways to serve our veterans.
Congressman Cuellar Secures Increased Funding to Combat Drug Trafficking
Earlier this week, I announced a key step in the fight against drug trafficking by successfully including an additional $135 million in federal funding increases for the Department of Defense’s counter-drug programs in the recently enacted government funding bill. The money will be used by the National Guard Counter-Drug Program, the U.S. Southern Command and the Texas National Guard to keep our communities safe.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee I am committed to advocating for smart spending, including efforts to stem the flow of illegal drugs and keep our communities in South Texas and the border area safe.
Click here to read more.
Congressman Cuellar directs CDC, FDA to increase monitoring of public health issues at high-volume ports of entry
This week, I also announced that I successfully included language in the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill to improve public health at high-volume ports of entry. The language directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with local governments at these ports of entry, such as those in my district, to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and better equip local officials to deal with food-borne threats.
In addition, I requested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide a report in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request on how CDC coordinates its various programs with state and local public health departments to measure, track, control, and manage cross-border infectious disease in high-volume port cities.
The Port of Laredo in my district is the largest inland port of entry for trade into the United States and the third largest for all trade. There is an opportunity for an enormous amount of food entry inspection by the FDA and this collaboration could greatly reduce the potential of harmful food-borne illnesses to spread into the United States.
This language also assists local health department staff in addressing both highly infectious diseases that already occur along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the threat of other new and emerging highly infectious diseases.
Meeting with the Children's Rehabilitation Institute of Teleton USA in San Antonio
On Wednesday, I spoke on camera with Gray TV's Peter Zampa about how crude oil from the Eagle Ford Shale is now being delivered overseas, thanks to the repeal of our country's 40-year-old crude oil export ban, which I worked across the aisle to end recently. I also spoke about a letter Governor Greg Abbott and I sent DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson asking for detailed information regarding the agency's decision to cut resources for aerial-based border security support in a program known as Operation Phalanx. Now is not the time to make cuts to border security, especially when we are continuing to experience increases in illegal immigration on the border.
On February 2, my outreach coordinator for Bexar County, Pete Arguello, met with the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of Teleton USA (CRIT) in San Antonio to discuss how our office can help with CRIT USA's mission to serve children in the United States with neuromusculoskeletal disorders through comprehensive treatment and therapy.
Meeting with Wilson County Judge at Newly Remodeled Courthouse
On February 9, my outreach coordinator for Wilson County, Gilbert Lafuente, presented a framed flag flown over the capitol to Wilson County Judge Richard Jackson to display at their newly-remolded courthouse, which was built in 1869.
Coordinating with Non-Profit and Veteran Alliance Groups to Better Serve Our Veterans
Jesus Padilla - Laredo District Office
Jesus Padilla is an intern at my Laredo District Office and is a sophomore studying political science at Texas A&M International University.
He decided to pursue an internship with my congressional office because he is interested in how the federal system works and how it aids us in our daily lives. Jesus helps with assisting with constituent casework and outreach for my office and hopes to one day be a U.S. congressman.
Read more about Jesus and other interns in my offices here.
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| Neighborhood Office Hours
Tuesday, February 16
(call for appointment)
McMullen County Courthouse Commissioners Court Room
SH 16 @ Elm Street
Christine City Office
102 S. 10th St.
La Vernia, TX
(call for appointment)
Windcrest City hall
8601 Midcrown St
Bruni Community Center
303 12th Street
Oilton Elementary School Library
300 DeSpain St.
Mirando City Quad City Community Center
917 N. Main Street
Thursday, February 18
Converse City Hall
403 Seguin Street
(call for appointment)
China Grove, TX
Open to San Antonio
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