Every year, the Congressional Art Competition gives high school students the chance to compete to have their works displayed in the Capitol complex in Washington, DC. A winner is chosen from each congressional district.
This year’s winner in the 27th Congressional District of Texas is Yeon Jung Kim, for her piece, “Perfect Companion.” Yeon Jung is a sophomore at Calallen High School, and was surprised to hear that she had won. She is the second Winner from Callallen in 5 years.
Her artwork, along with artwork from all over the country will be displayed in the Cannon tunnel, which connects the House Office Building with the U.S. Capitol. I walk by these pieces of art from all over the country when I go to the House floor to vote or speak. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
KIII News was at Calallen High School when I announced Yeon Jung as the winner. That video is below.
The Benefits of American Made Energy
On Wednesday, I was the keynote speaker at the Texas Oil and Gas Magazine’s Eagle Ford Shale Conference and Expo. I told attendees that the oil and gas industry is going to pull our country out of our economic slump kicking and screaming.
It’s not just high paying oil patch jobs in Texas this boom is creating, its jobs nationwide. Low cost energy is creating a renaissance in manufacturing in America. In the Corpus Christi area alone there are 2 new steel plants being built, a plastics facility and an expansion of the Oxy facility on the site of former Naval Station Ingleside.
Because the price of natural gas is so low, it is in many cases un-economical to drill new Eagle Ford gas wells or to install the pipeline infrastructure to get the gas to market. It is critical we don’t waste this resource, so we must move quickly on constructing clean gas fired electrical plants, moving vehicle fleets to compressed natural gas and developing an export infrastructure for liquefied natural gas. With exports especially, we must strike while the iron is hot. With prices almost 5 times higher in countries like Japan we must get LNG plants built and operational before we lose these customers to other gas exporting nations. Critics argue that we should keep this gas for domestic use, but with over a 100 years of reserves in America alone I am certain that new technologies like wind and solar will mature to become economically feasible without taxpayer subsidies long before we start running short of natural gas.
I addition to speaking at the expo, I toured some of the exhibits. Ford was showing their natural gas powered pickups. At today’s prices the additional cost of a natural gas truck pays for itself in about 90,000 miles. A Ford executive told me he expects the cost of these conversions to continue to drop as more people move to CNG vehicles. Trucking Company owner David Ainsworth is converting some of his fleet to CNG and expects to open a public refueling station in Northwest Corpus Christi soon.
Before returning to Texas for last week’s constituent work period, I spoke on the House floor about the benefits of the energy industry. You can watch that video below.
Recently, it hasn’t been the closing of White House tours or National Parks in the news, it has been the potential for flight delays due to the Federal Aviation Administration’s lack of rationality when implementing the sequester.
The House passed a bill to prevent these flight delays, and I supported it. I supported it because the American people should not be punished because federal agencies refuse to cut wasteful spending.
That said, this legislation could have been completely avoided had the FAA planned responsibly and asked Congress for the authority to move funds around to avoid employee furloughs, just like the Justice Department did.
But the FAA didn’t act– so Congress had to. It is an outrage that the current Administration would rather make the American people suffer than admit there are reasonable ways to cut spending.
I spoke on the House floor about this issue before the vote, you can watch that video below.
In a recent e-newsletter, I brought up the issue of the Department of Homeland Security’s procurement of ammunition. Since then, there has been an update I would like to share with you.
I am working with a colleague to join onto a bill that would limit the amount of ammunition that federal agencies are allowed to buy and stockpile.
The AMMO Act of 2013 aims to curtail the Federal Government’s purchases of ammunition so that Americans can exercise their Second Amendment rights without infringement.
DHS currently has the right to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years, while it already has two years worth of ammo already. This is an issue that must be addressed, and I am glad this legislation provides us the opportunity to do so. Federal agencies must provide more “transparency and accountability” in regards to its “stockpiles of ammunition.
Events Across South Texas
During this district work period I was able to attend a lot of events around South Texas. On Wednesday, I met with some of the dedicated and outstanding managers from CCAD. We discussed their concerns over the sequester, and I took their questions about what I am doing in Washington to ensure we can keep CCAD running at full speed. Earlier that day, I also met with Chief of Naval Air Training, Rear Adm. Mark Leavitt, for an update on TRACOM and especially NAS Corpus Christi and Kingsville.
On Thursday, I joined with members of the Corpus Christi Christian Business Association’s prayer breakfast on the National Day of Prayer.
Tweets from Last Week