Protecting the VA Choice Program

Click above to watch my speech on the VA Choice Program.

Since first being elected to Congress, I have been fighting for our veterans to get the care they were promised and earned. After hearing veterans tell horror story after horror story of long wait times, canceled appointments, and having to travel miles to distant cities to get treatment, Congress got something right when they passed the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act in 2014. It allows veterans access to private care if they are unable to get a VA appointment in 30 days or live more than 40 miles from the closest VA facility. Last week, the House voted to pass a bill eliminating the sunset of the VA Choice Program. To see my speech on the House floor supporting the VA Choice Program, please click here.

Reintroducing the Texas Maritime Caucus

Sitting down with my colleagues and Texas port representatives at the Texas Maritime Caucus Ports Roundtable.

Last week, Rep. Randy Weber, Rep. Brian Babin and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and I reintroduced the Texas Maritime Caucus. The mission of the caucus is to promote Texas ports and waterway districts, illustrate the importance of the ports and waterways to areas of the state and nation beyond the Gulf of Mexico and advocate for changes in current law to facilitate optimal import and export of cargo and the transportation of passengers.

As part of our reintroduction, the Texas Maritime Caucus held a Ports Roundtable, where members of the caucus and representatives from Texas ports, including the Port of Corpus Christi and the Port of Victoria, were able to discuss issues affecting Texas shipping and work towards solutions to solve them. Texas Ports employ more than five million people and create more than $1 billion in economic revenue annually. I’m hopeful that under the Trump Administration we will get regulations out of the way so we can get moving and improve our ports. President Trump’s commitment to infrastructure and deregulation will be good for our ports.

Two other Texas members that attended the Ports Roundtable were Rep. Pete Olson and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. 

Protecting Americans' Fourth Amendment Rights

Last week, several of my colleagues and I introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act to ensure Americans are not forced to endure indiscriminate and suspicionless searches of their phones, laptops and other digital devices just to cross the border.

This bill shuts down a legal interpretation that currently allows law enforcement agencies to search Americans’ phones and laptops – including pictures, email and anything on the device and possibly the cloud – when they cross the border without suspicion or a warrant. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects Americans from unreasonable and suspicionless searches and seizures of personal property and belongings, including digital property. Just because you cross the border doesn’t mean the government can violate your Constitutional rights and has an authority to read everything on your computer. To read the full press release, please click here.

The 2017 Congressional Art Contest
The 2016 winner, Stacia Johnston’s piece "A Midnight Stop," is currently displayed in the Cannon Tunnel to the Capitol with all the other 2016 winning entries.
Every year, thousands of high school students from every congressional district submit their artwork to their member of Congress for the annual Congressional Art Competition. Helping inspire young people to become active in the things they are passionate about, like art, is one of the best parts of my job. The 2017 Art Competition deadline is Tuesday, April 25, 2017. If you know a high school student who’d like to submit their artwork, please invite them to visit my website or call John Maldonado in my district office at 361-884-2222. The winning art from each congressional district will hang in our nation’s capital for one year.

Justice Gorsuch will be a fine addition to the Court.
7 Apr 2017

Chemical weapons attacks are simply unacceptable.
7 Apr 2017

Today, the House will reaffirm that North Korea is a state sponsor of terror and aims to hurt the west. #HR479 #HRes92
3 Apr 2017

The extension of VA Choice will ensure vets have continued access to care whether at VA or private facilities.
6 Apr 2017