One of my top priorities in Washington is making the government more open and transparent to the American people- whose tax dollars pay the bills in Washington. This week, I questioned top government oversight experts on the ways that we can make federal agencies more transparent.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, which I sit on, has had a hard time getting information from the government on things like Operation Fast and Furious, so I can’t even imagine the amount of stonewalling the average person must deal with when requesting information from the Government.
I also co-chaired a hearing this week on a bill I recently introduced, called the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013. H.R. 982 aims to eliminate fraudulent claims filed to the asbestos trust system, protecting the funds for legitimate victims of asbestos exposure.
The Wall Street Journal wrote about the hearing: “Bankruptcy trusts paying claims to sickened victims of companies that once made dangerous asbestos products aren’t “limitless, bottomless pits of money,” according to Rep. Blake Farenthold (R., Texas), who backs more scrutiny for their payment activities.”
IN DEPTH INTERVIEW ON THE PACE ACT
This week I was interviewed by Federal News Radio on my role as the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce. I discussed how the President is making the sequester cuts as painful possible for political gain, and the bill I introduced, the PACE Act, which forces federal agencies to find needed savings through cutting wasteful spending, not through furloughs. Listen to the interview here.
ALLOWING CBP TO MEET ESSENTIAL NEEDS
I also am co-sponsoring a bill that helps the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) improve operations and potentially save taxpayer dollars. It give the CBP the flexibility to work with the private sector to help alleviate delays and improve border security. The bill, called the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act will improve service, save money, and create a good, cost effective public-private partnership. It was introduced by Congressman Cuellar (D-Larado), and is also supported by Congressmen McCaul (R-Austin/Houston), Vela (D-Brownsville), O’Rourke (D-El Paso) and Gallego (D-San Antonio/Big Bend/El Paso).
DISTRICT OFFICE UPDATES
In my Victoria office this week, my caseworker Michelle was, among other things, able to expedite U.S. passports for a couple trying to visit a family member who was placed in intensive care in an overseas hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with that family.
In my Corpus Christi office this week, David Montero from my staff joined community members at the Walk MS: Corpus Christi to support Multiple Sclerosis research.
The Corpus Christi Walk Multiple Sclerosis
Casey Newman from my Victoria office staff went to the ribbon cutting for the new Goodwill store in Victoria. He met with Goodwill leaders; the President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Randy Vivian and others at the event.
TWEETS FROM THIS WEEK
Had a great visit with students & teachers from Gregory Portland Intermediate School today – thanks for stopping by! twitter.com/farenthold/sta…
Our prayers and blessings are with Pope Francis