Dear Friends,

Congress continues to debate issues on the war in Iraq and Immigration Reform. I am happy to report that the American people won another victory against the Senate's "Amnesty plan." Your voices were heard and the power of your calls, letters and emails made the difference in the defeat of the "Amnesty bill" for a second, and hopefully final time. However, real immigration reform is not over - it is only just begun and I will continue to fight for an enforcement-first policy that secures our border immediately and puts an end to the give-aways and incentives of illegal immigration.

Next month, I will be heading down to our nation's southern border on another fact-finding mission. I urge every Member of Congress who has not seen firsthand the seriousness of the situation along our borders to do so. It is important for those making decisions on our border security and immigration policies to talk directly to the sheriffs and the people that are on the front lines in the war on the border.

God and Texas,

TED POE
Member of Congress
TEXAS

Senate Hearings on Ramos and Compean

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings looking into the prosecution of Border Agents Nacho Ramos and Joe Compean. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for a job well done. Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Ranking Member, and fellow Texan, John Cornyn held US Attorney Johnny Sutton to the fire. The hearing proved once again that the US Attorney's office chose the wrong side of the law. Testimony showed that they had a choice that day to prosecute an illegal drug smuggler or two Texas lawmen defending our country - and they went after our boys with both barrels.

The House will hold similar hearings in the coming weeks and we will pick up where the Senate left off to delve into the motives behind the prosecution of this case and those of Deputy Gilmer Hernandez, Border Agents Gary Brugman and Noe Aleman.

To read transcripts from the Senate hearings, please visit the Committee website:
http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=2872

Commutation Request

In light of the recent commutation of Scooter Libby, I have joined my colleagues in asking President Bush to exercise his authority to commute the sentences of Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The circumstances surrounding their prosecution, conviction and incarceration far exceed the extremes in the Libby case. I urge the President to take the same swift actions. Border agents Ramos and Compean are serving 11 and 12 year sentences for the involvement in the shooting of an illegal drug smuggler along the Texas-Mexico border.

To read a copy of my letter, please visit my website:
http://poe.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=69809

Free Speech Vs. Fair Speech

It is written, ``Congress will make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or bridging the freedom of speech or the freedom of press or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances.'' Of course, this is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is first because, without these first principles, the rest of the following amendments are meaningless.

There are some in Washington who want to violate these rights because they simply don't like what they are hearing on talk radio and this is where the Fairness Doctrine comes into play - or the "Un-Fairness Doctrine" if you really look at it. There is an effort to reinstate this law forcing equal time for liberal talk shows on the radio dial - even though they have all failed to hold a following with the American public.

Because some people do not like what they hear on the radio, they want the federal government to step in and stop it. The problem lies within their failed argument, that free speech must be fair speech. Fair is far too subjective a word. The Constitution protects free speech, not fair speech - there is a big difference.

Fourth of July

America turned another year older, and another year - better. I was recently asked by talk show host Sam Malone if I thought America was getting better or worse, would we leave the next generation a better country? I believe so. The American people are the best in the world and despite the frustrations with government bureaucracy, Americans believe in our country. The outcry from coast-to-coast to secure our borders and protect our culture is the best example of that.

I had a great time visiting with all the folks that came out to the Kingwood and Crosby Fourth of July Parades, Forest Cove BBQ and the Cleveland Fourth of July celebration - the community was out in full support!

Awards and Honors

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) recently honored me with their "Taxpayer Hero" Award for consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers.

I am also happy to announce that I was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Independent Electrical Contractors Association. This is a great group of local contractors and their recognition of my work is truly a compliment.

Media Appearances

I appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight this week to discuss the Senate hearings on the Ramos and Compean case. For a recap, visit this link for a transcript of Tuesday's show: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/17/ldt.01.html 

Be sure to tune in and catch me every Monday morning at 7:15 discussing the latest issues on KOLE's Morning Blend with Dominick Brascia. And don't forget to tune in to Good Morning Southeast Texas every Wednesday at 6:30am on KBMT in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area and every other Monday on Fox 26 in Houston for my regular Congressional Updates.

A Special Farewell

This month we said good-bye to one of the finest southern ladies politics and Texas has ever known, Lady Bird Johnson. Her legacy and influence will live on forever. I doubt that Texas, nor our country, will ever know a finer lady and patriot than we had in Lady Bird Johnson. May God bless Lady Bird as she has blessed us.

To read my tribute, "Behind Every Man, There's a Lady Bird," visit the following link:
http://poe.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=69541