November 23, 2013

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Congressional Report

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you several updates during my work week in Washington, D.C.

Standing up in Support of HR 2728

On Wednesday, I spoke in support of H.R. 2728, the Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, a bill I co-sponsored. Watch the video of my Floor speech here.

Congressman Cuellar speaks on the House Floor in support of HR 2728  

This legislation would prevent the Interior Department from enforcing federal rules related to hydraulic fracturing in states that already have existing oversight rules.  This legislation is NOT about more or less regulation. This bill helps our federal government work in a smarter and more cost-effective manner.  We need to enable states to regulate their lands, and not try to create a federal one-size-fits-all approach.  This bill would untangle redundant regulation in states that have created their own regulations that address well design, location, water quality, emissions, wildlife protection, and health and safety. 

I represent the Eagle Ford Shale area in Texas, one of the largest production areas in the U.S. Our State has passed smart regulations by working directly with our communities, and leading the nation in establishing FRAC-focus – which informs all Texans what materials are used in hydraulic fracturing  activities. Our state governments know their own land best.

To read more, take a look at the piece I authored with my colleague, Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX):

Meeting with Texas Medical Association

Congressman Cuellar met with Texas Medical Association representatives in Washington to discuss ways to replace the flawed sustainable growth rate formula and invest in graduate medical education. Left-to-Right: Dr. Joe Annis (Austin), Dr. Bob Gumbey (Dallas), Congressman Henry Cuellar, Dr. G. Sealy Massingill (Fort Worth), Dr. William Bradley (Mansfield), Ben Karfunkel (student at University of Texas Medical School), and Darren Whitehurst (TMA).

It was great to welcome Texas Medical Association members in DC on Tuesday. I always appreciate hearing your perspective and expertise on the sustainable growth rate and graduate medical education.

Hidalgo County Health Insurance Marketplace Community Workshop

My Outreach Coordinators for Hidalgo and Starr Counties, Alexis Gallegos and Nichole Hernandez, helped residents learn more about the new health insurance marketplaces at the Hidalgo County Community Workshop on Saturday.

On Saturday, I hosted a Health Insurance Marketplace Community Workshop for residents of Hidalgo County. The event provided presentations on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and gave participants the opportunity to enroll for health insurance with the assistance of certified organizations.

In Hidalgo County, 38.1 percent of residents do not have health insurance, one of the highest rates in the country. I would like to thank all of the local agencies and organizations that partnered with us to host another great event:

City of Mission
Migrant Health Promotion
Nuestra Clinica del Valle
Senior Community Outreach Services
Valley Association of Independent Living
Community Action Corporation of South Texas Health Centers
Enroll America
Young Invicibles

TSI Groundbreaking Ceremony

Grants Coordinator Juan Sanchez meeting with the Pellegrino Family and TSI Staff at the groundbreaking of TSI’s new maintenance facility in Laredo, Texas.

My Grants Coordinator, Juan Sanchez, attended the groundbreaking of Transportation Services, INC (TSI)’s new maintenance facility in Laredo. The new facility will provide a maintenance site for TSI’s tractor trailers. Congratulations to TSI for expanding its business and thank you for investing in our community!

Opening of Taco Palenque 

​Chief of Staff Cynthia Gaona attends the opening of Taco Palenque in New Braunfels and discusses support of my office for small businesses.

My Chief of Staff, Cynthia Gaona, attended the opening of Taco Palenque in New Braunfels, Texas. She congratulated owners, Pancho Ochoa and Melo Villarreal, who expanded their business from Laredo, and discussed ways in which my office can help small businesses in the 28th District of Texas.

Mayor's Breakfast in Mission
Hidalgo County Outreach Coordinator, Alexis Gallegos, attended the City Magazine Breakfast with Mayors and discussed the services my office can offer in support of pending projects.

My Hidalgo County Outreach Coordinator, Alexis Gallegos, attended the City Magazine Breakfast with Mayors in which local mayors gave an update on current and future projects in their respective areas. Alexis provided an update on services my office can provide to facilitated these projects.

28th District Spotlight

Congratulations to the cities of Laredo, McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, and San Antonio for ranking in a national list of the fastest-growing metro areas in the US!

Metro economies make up more than 90 percent of gross domestic product and nearly 86 percent of the U.S. population and jobs. Let’s work to ensure that South Texas metro areas continue to drive growth in our communities.

Read the full story here:

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Congressman Henry Cuellar


Latest News

Laredo Morning Times, 11/20/13: City gets EB-5 status, foreign investors OK’d

Laredo Morning Times 11/18/13: Passenger Rail Service Fast trains could be reality

Laredo Morning Times 11/18/13: Proyectan Tren Rapido Binacional

McAllen Monitor 11-15-2013: Mexican sales taxes head north; could national shoppers too?

Laredo Morning Times 11-14-2013 City: Railroad crossing issues close to being solved

This Week's Congressional Hearings

Energy and Commerce

Hearing 11/20
Subcommittee on Health Examining the Public Health Legislation to Help Local Communities

Hearing 11/21
Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
H.R. 2012a bill to improve the integrity and safety of interstate horseracing

Hearing 11/21
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Oversight and FirstNet and the Advancement of Public Safety Wireless Communications

Veterans Affairs​

Hearing 11/20
Building VA’s future: Confronting Persistent Challenges in the VA Major Construction and Lease Programs

Armed Services

​Hearing 11/20
Subcommittee on Military Personnel
Military Resale Program Overview

Hearing 11/20
Full Committee
2013 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Neighborhood Office Hours
Do you need assistance with a federal agency? My Outreach Coordinator for Atascosa, Wilson, and McMullen Counties, Gilbert Lafuente, will be visiting the cities of Poteet and Lytle this coming week.

Tuesday, November 26th
Poteet City Hall
474 Avenue H
10:00am -11:00am Poteet, Texas

Lytle City Hall
14916 Main
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lytle, Texas

Wrap Up of This Week on the Floor

On Monday, the House will not be in session.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business, with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Suspensions (6 bills)

  1. S. 252 – PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, as amended (Sen. Alexander – Energy and Commerce)
  2. S. 330 – HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (Sen. Boxer – Energy and Commerce)
  3. S. 893 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013 (Sen. Sanders – Veterans’ Affairs)
  4. H.R. 2922 – To extend the authority of the Supreme Court Police to protect court officials away from the Supreme Court grounds (Rep. Holding – Judiciary)
  5. H.Res. 196 – Supporting the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the right to counsel, as amended (Rep. Deutch – Judiciary)
  6. H.R. 2871 – To amend title 28, United States Code, to modify the composition of the southern judicial district of Mississippi to improve judicial efficiency, and for other purposes (Rep. Coble – Judiciary)

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

H.R. 982 – Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013(Rep. Farenthold – Judiciary) (Subject to a Rule)

On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business, with last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

H.R. 2655 – Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013(Rep. Smith (TX) – Judiciary) (Subject to a Rule)

H.R. 3350 – “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013” (Rep. Upton – Energy and Commerce/Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule)