Op-Eds

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  • TEXAS SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM DEADLINES APPROACHING
    Posted in Op-Eds on February 27, 2008 | Preview rr
    Tags: Energy Independence

    As I continue to advocate quality education in the 28th Congressional District, I take this opportunity to inform students and educators about the fast-approaching deadlines for scholarships and fellowships offered by the Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC). TSGC brings universities, government agencies, industries and non-profit organizations in Texas together to make the benefits of space research and technology available to all Texans. I hope this information proves useful to those interested... Read more

  • A Healthy Heart: Debunking the Myths of Heart Disease
    Posted in Op-Eds on February 8, 2008 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    Every year since 1963, Congress has required the President of the United States to declare February American Heart Month. In spirit of promoting healthy hearts, I join many in reaffirming my commitment this month to help raise awareness of heart disease and to offer simple preventative measures each of us can practice. Heart disease continues to be America’s number one killer, claiming over 500,000 lives each year—half of which are women. As alarming as these facts are, however, many of us are u... Read more

  • The Merida Initiative
    Posted in Op-Eds on December 31, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Border & Homeland Security

    As a life-long resident of Laredo, Texas, a city with the population of about 200,000 that borders the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, I grew up understanding the economic impact of a healthy relationship between the United States and our southern border neighbor, Mexico. The billions of dollars that are brought into the United States from trade and tourism is money the United States and border cities throughout the U.S. have come to depend on. From jobs to economic development, having a healthy r... Read more

  • Responding to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis
    Posted in Op-Eds on December 7, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Financial Services

    The subprime mortgage crisis is an issue that weighs heavy on the minds of lawmakers, lenders, and the American public. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, estimates that 2.3 million subprime mortgages will reset at higher rates through the end of next year, and an estimated 1-2 million borrowers will be unable to avoid foreclosure. As the threat of foreclosure is quickly materializing for many American homeowners, I felt it would be valuable to discuss the unfortunate subprime situation as ... Read more

  • Approaches to Securing Our Southern Borders
    Posted in Op-Eds on October 9, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Border & Homeland Security

    Washington, DC- As the Chairman of Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response, I accept the challenge of participating in legislative policies that govern our nation’s border security. I know there are many issues facing our country, but there is nothing more important than making sure that all Americans feel a sense of security in this country. My duty, as a representative of the border region, is to address the concerns that the American people prese... Read more

  • Expanding Access to Capital for Business Owners
    Posted in Op-Eds on September 27, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Financial Services

    Washington, DC- As a member of the House Committee on Small Business, I am pleased to help create and shape the legislative policies that govern the Small Business Administration (SBA). The private business sector in the United States is composed of businesses of all shapes, sizes, and models. Easy access to capital is often a problem for many business concerns, and it is for this reason that the SBA offers many programs to address this need.It is consistently more difficult for a new business t... Read more

  • Rural Broadband Access
    Posted in Op-Eds on May 1, 2007 | Preview rr

    In America, we pride ourselves on being competitive and leading the world in every endeavor we undertake. As technology continues to progress, it is vital that America and Texas not only keep pace but lead the way in technological advancement and access. Right now, America ranks 21st in the world at providing digital opportunities to the public. Moreover, 76 percent of small businesses in rural areas are reporting limited or no access to broadband services. We need to upgrade our nation’s commu... Read more

  • Managing Wild Horse Populations
    Posted in Op-Eds on May 1, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Agriculture

    Wild horses are part of American culture that has been celebrated for hundreds of years. Wild horses are also part of our Texas heritage. Managing populations of wild horses and burros is critical to the effective stewardship of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, li... Read more

  • Working To Expand Small Business Contracting
    Posted in Op-Eds on March 1, 2007 | Preview rr
    Tags: Financial Services

    Small businesses create 75 percent of all new employment opportunities and make up 99 percent of all employers. They account for nearly half of all sales revenues nationwide. Given the vast scope of the small business sector, improvements in it have ramifications throughout the State of Texas and across the nation. There is an avenue to improvement: the federal procurement market, as it holds the potential to grow our nation’s small businesses. Recently I have held small business contracting wor... Read more

  • Welcoming the 110th Congress
    Posted in Op-Eds on December 13, 2006 | Preview rr

    As the 109th Congress comes to an end, I can’t help but think of the progress we have made during these past two years. I have supported legislation and introduced amendments that are beneficial to all. We have been able to assist many communities, including schools, police departments, and the agricultural sector. I have also shown my commitment to our veterans, seniors, and students by providing them with the necessary tools they need for a better life. During my tenure, I worked to amend legi... Read more