November 29, 2014

Congressional Report

Dear Friends,

I would like to wish you a happy and healthy time with your families this week.  Please take a few moments to read my latest updates below.  

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American Political Science Association Award 

I received the Humphrey Award for notable public service by a political scientist from the American Political Science Association (APSA).  During the presentation, we discussed ways my office can use APSA resources to better inform TX28 residents.  

The American Political Science Association honored me with the Humphrey Award for notable public service by a political scientist. The years I spent completing my Ph.D. in government at the University of Texas at Austin helped lay the platform for my career in public service, first as a State Representative, then as Texas Secretary of State, and now in the United States Congress.  

For more information on the award, visit my website by clicking HERE

Meeting with Hungarian Deputy State Secretary of Defense 

I met with the Hungarian Deputy State Secretary of Defense for Hungary and we discussed our mutual defense priorities.  

Last week in Washington, I met with the Deputy State Secretary of Defense for Hungary, Peter Siklosi.  We discussed the US-Hungarian partnership in security and defense as well as our vision for strengthening our relationship.  

Crime Rates Lower on Border Than Texas, National Averages

My office released a compilation of the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that show a lower murder rate in cities along the Texas-Mexico border than in other major cities across the nation and the State of Texas.  

​My office released statistics showing that the murder rate in select cities along the US-Mexico border is lower than Texas state and national averages.  

Many people characterize the southern border as being unsafe but today’s numbers paint a very different picture. The murder rate is actually higher in Washington, D.C. where I work than in my hometown of Laredo, Texas or other cities on the border like McAllen, Texas.  These statistics should help to dispel some of the misinformation about the border region that hurts our local economy and makes it harder to hire doctors and encourage investment.

Want more information on this?  Read the full press release on my website by clicking HERE.  

Health Insurance Informational Event in Penitas 

​My office hosted a health insurance enrollment event last week in Penitas where we provided information to TX28 residents on the open enrollment period for health insurance. 

My office hosted a health insurance enrollment this week in Peñitas.  Thank you to all the health organizations in the Valley that participated.  For more information on specific resources in your area, please visit or my website by clicking HERE.

​TX28 constituents received assistance in looking up information on health insurance and completing their applications at the workshop hosted by my office.  

During the health insurance enrollment workshop my office hosted last week in Peñitas, a navigator from VAIL helped Edelia Santana successfully receive an exemption on her health insurance.  Congratulations, Ms. Santana!  

Oasis Mexican Cafe Certificate 

​Outreach coordinator, Pete Arguello, presents a Congressional Certificate of Recognition to San Antonio business owner for her accomplishments in growing the economy of our community.  

This past week, my Bexar County Outreach Coordinator, Pete Arguello, presented a congressional certificate of recognition to Maxima Valadez, owner of Oasis Mexican Café in downtown San Antonio. They have been in business since 2003 and are located just a few blocks from my San Antonio office. Pete and Ron Dear, Acting District Director for the Small Business Administration, recognized Ms. Valadez in honor of Small Business Saturday.

USDA Launches Organic Food Hub Feasibility Study 

​Outreach coordinator Gilbert Lafuente joined USDA officials to launch an organic food feasibility study in Guadalupe County.  

My outreach coordinator, Gilbert Lafuente, participated in the launch by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development of an organic food hub feasibility study in Guadalupe County.  The study will identify opportunities to distribute locally grown food to assist small and emerging businesses in rural areas.  

Pictured left to right are Seguin USDA Director, Gilbert Menendez, Outreach Coordinator Gilbert Lafuente, USDA Rural Development State Director, Paco Valentin, and USDA Rural Development Area Director, Jose A. Ochoa. 

Important Update for Eligible Veterans

The new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply to you:

·         You have been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician

·         Your current residence is more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility

·         You need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home

·         You face a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water or other geologic formations, such as mountains, which presents a significant travel hardship

Every Veteran will receive a letter and a Choice Card in the mail with details about the program. Veterans will be eligible for the program and receive cards in three phases:

1.       Veterans who may live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

2.       Veterans who are currently waiting for an appointment longer than 30 days from their preferred date or the date determined to be medically necessary by their physician.

3.       All remaining Veterans enrolled for VA healthcare who may be eligible for the Choice Program in the future.

To set up an appointment with a non-VA provider, call the VA at 866-606-8198 and we will work with you to ensure you are approved for care in your community.

TX28 Intern Spotlight Section

​Lauren Tucci interned in my Washington, D.C. office where she assisted my legislative staff with various projects.

Lauren Tucci is a native of Houston, Texas and a student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  Lauren interned in my DC office this semester.  Thank you, Lauren, for your hard work!  Read more about Lauren here on my website.  

TX28 Federal Agency Tips 

​The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided these useful tips on how to prevent fires when using grills.  

People in other states may be packing up their grills with the cold weather, but here in South Texas we grill year round. Here are a few safety tips and instructions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Watch the video by clicking HERE.


Henry Cuellar 


11/21/14, Periodico Enlace: "Three "Obamacare" Workshops to be held in Starr County in Dec."

11/19/14, Wilson County News: "Cuellar touts success of Affordable Care Act in District 28"

11/19/14, KGNS Pro 8 News: "Cuellar honored for notable public service form APSA"

11/18/14, KGBT: "Rep Cuellar: FBI stats show border communities have fewer murders than big cities"

11/18/14, WOAI: "Border cities crime rate among lowest in USA"

11/18/14, KGNS Pro 8 News: "How does Laredo compare to other cities when it comes to crime?"

Neighborhood Office Hours

Tuesday, December 1st 

Selma Stage Stop Visitor Center
9374 Valhalla
Selma, TX

Universal City - Public Works Conference Room
285 Kitty Hawk Rd.
Universal City, TX

Live Oak City Hall
8001 Shin Oak Dr.
Live Oak, TX

Falcon Community Center
Third at Ramireno

Zapata County Courthouse 200 E 7th Ave
Zapata, TX

Justice of the Peace Pct. 2
Office 1103 Hwy 83
San Ygnacio, TX

Mission City Hall
1201 E 8th Street
Mission, TX

Palmview Multi Purpose Ctr.
406 West Veterans Blvd.
Palmview, TX

Palmhurst City Hall
4417 North Shary Road
Palmhurst, TX

Thursday, December 4th 

Pleasanton City Hall
108 2nd Street
10:00am - 11:30am
Pleasanton, TX

Charlotte City Maint Bldg.
11 Bruce Place
2:30pm - 3:30pm
Charlotte, TX

Open to Laredo

Fire Dept Meeting Room
500 Cenizo
9:30am - 10:30am
Sullivan City, TX

Penitas City Hall
FM 1427
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Penitas, TX

La Joya Senior Citizens Center
925 Lee Street
11:00am - 12:00pm
La Joya, TX

Have a question about neighborhood office hours?  Call my toll free number at 877-780-0028