I recently was named Border Defender of the Year by the Friends of the Border Patrol at their annual conference in San Diego, CA. While I was there, I took a ride down to the California border, got a first hand look at the border fence and spoke with law enforcement about their part in the war along our southern border. Our men and women on the front lines must have the full support of their government if we intend to secure our borders and end illegal immigration.
Border Security remains one of the top priorities in our country. I have been leading the charge to free convicted Border Agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Just last week, I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that called for the public release of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report on this case. After receiving the report, in my opinion, there are still many discrepancies in the prosecutions case. In addition, it has come to light that an investigator in the case misled me and three other Texas Congressmen on the facts of this case. I will continue to press for answers and to see that justice is served.
SNWW FUNDING UPDATE
This week I sent a letter to the Transportation Committee requesting that $900 million in funding be authorized to deepen and widen the Sabine Neches Waterway (SNWW) in the Water Resources Development Act. During my first term in office, I continued to support this effort by providing the necessary funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to study what is needed for the future look of the ship channel. The SNWW is the United States most critical energy artery. I will continue to educate other members of Congress on its importance and push for the maximum amount of funding available.
Over the next several weeks I will be sponsoring legislation to further protect crime victims in our country. As you all know I have been a life long advocate on behalf of children and victims of crime. I strongly believe that the first duty of government is to protect its citizens. As Founder and Chairman of the Victims Rights Caucus, I plan to keep fighting for victims rights and the safety of our children. For more information on legislation I have sponsored and cosponsored, please visit our website at www.poe.house.gov.
ATTENTION ALL TREE HUGGERS!
Thanks to all the volunteers that braved the rain and trudged through the mud and the muck to turn out and participate in the largest volunteer tree planting project Houston has ever seen. I was joined by over a thousand people to plant trees along Will Clayton Parkway last weekend as part of the Houston Area Freeway Forestation Project. During my first term in office, I secured $28.5 million in funding for beautification, erosion prevention and flood-control programs in the Houston area. As a member of the Transportation committee, I understand that putting together the transportation bill isn't just about laying concrete. Thanks again to all those tree huggers that came out in the pouring rain to help our community!
A LOCAL VETERAN HONORED
Liberty County honored one of their local heroes recently at a medal ceremony for Buster Bricker. Mr. Bricker served in WWII and was presented with Distinguished Flying Cross for his service to our country. We all owe a great debt of gratitude for the sacrifices made by Mr. Bricker and the WWII veterans.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to question Condoleezza Rice, twice, as she appeared before the International Relations committee, as well as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. I had a meeting with Governor Rick Perry to discuss border security and what it means to Texas and our country. I hosted a delegation of 10 Members of the Belgium Foreign Affairs Committee; met with Mitt Romney; United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea; His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt; Ambassador Claudia Fritsche of the Principality of Liechtenstein; Port Arthur Mayor Oscar Ortiz and Beaumont Mayor Guy Goodson; Monica Ramos and Patti Compean, wives of Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean; representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association; Entergy; Houston Firefighters; SETX Regional Planning Commission; Kirby Corporation; Dr. G. Jay Gogue, President and Chancellor of the University of Houston; and the American Institute of Architects. I also met with families of 9/11 victims; attended the 55th National Prayer Breakfast; and stopped by to say howdy to all the DC Aggies at the Texas A&M Reception on Capitol Hill.
GIVE US YOUR INPUT!
Please log on to my new website at www.poe.house.gov and take a look around. I have access to my daily House floor speeches, legislation, my recent press releases and all my District 2 constituent services including a feedback email link. Let me know what is on your mind.
Dont forget to tune in every other Monday morning at 7am on KOLE 1380AM in Beaumont to hear me on the Morning Blend with Dominick Brascia.