This week the House voted on H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act.

I heard from constituents from all across my district and they overwhelmingly supported raising the federal minimum wage. I would have preferred the bill include measures to assist small businesses, like the ability to join into Small Business Association Health Plans, but the people in my district wanted an increase and I supported the measure. I voted for the increase in the 109th Congress and I voted for it again in the 110th Congress.

The Republican proposal that failed, but for which I voted (the WAGE Act of 2007), encouraged small businesses to offer health coverage to their workers. I am hopeful the Senate will add Small Business Association Health Plans before the bill becomes law.



Also this week on the floor was H.R. 1, "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007." I voted against this measure because it allows international bodies such as the United Nations to have a say in United States' security decisions and efforts to fight the War on Terror.

The United States should not have to seek permission from anyone, especially the United Nations, when it comes to the security and safety of our country. I will not support legislation that requires the United States to gain approval from anyone when it comes to Homeland Security.



Our Beaumont District Office has a new address and a new look. Our new address is:

Congressman Ted Poe
505 Orleans Street, Suite 100
Beaumont, Texas 77701
409-212-1997

The phone number and fax number remain the same. I am very proud of the move to downtown Beaumont. Our office is committed to downtown revitalization and being more accessible to people throughout Jefferson County.



Border Security continues to be the number one issue to my constituents. Some of you may recall the plight of Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean that I have mentioned in previous emails: Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean are currently scheduled to serve 11 and 12 year prison terms, respectively, this month. The case has garnered national attention because of the harsh prosecution and unjust conviction of the agents for shooting a fleeing illegal drug smuggler during an altercation after over 740 pounds (over $1 million street value) of marijuana was discovered in his van near the border.

This week I led a press conference announcing a letter sent to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking him to allow Agents Ramos and Compean free on bond pending the appeal of their convictions. Several discrepancies in the government's case strongly question whether justice has been served and permitting these men to be incarcerated in the interim puts their lives at risk. This is the third in a series of letters we have sent asking for justice in this case.

On December 1, 2006 we sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner requesting the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee hold a hearing to examine the convictions of Border Agents Ramos and Compean. On December 6, 2006 we sent a letter to President Bush requesting the sentences of Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean be commuted. I was on "Lou Dobb's Tonight" on CNN last week speaking about this issue. It is important we try to get these agents justice. The government chose sides in this issue and they chose the wrong side when they decided to prosecute these agents.

This seems to be yet another example of how our government is more concerned about illegals and drug dealers than they are about America and Americans.

I will keep you posted on developments.



Members were alerted this week to the new committee assignments for the 110th Congress. I am proud to have been appointed to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Subcommittees will be announced soon. In addition to my committee work, I will continue to work on victims issues through my Victim's Rights Caucus. I founded the VRC to advocate on behalf of victims of crime in Washington, DC.


I am both saddened and honored to pay tribute to the following heroes from my
district that lost their lives in Iraq recently. Please remember their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers. They have paid the most precious price for our freedoms:

Staff Sergeant Edward Reynolds, Jr., Beaumont
Captain David Michael Frasier, Spring area
Lance Corporal Luke Yepsen, Kingwood
Specialist Dustin R. Donica, Spring



Please log on to my new website at: poe.house.gov and take a look around. I have access to my daily House floor speeches, my recent press releases and all my District 2 constituent services including a feedback email link. Let me know what is on your mind.

Thank you to everyone I have talked with out in the community the past few weeks. Don't 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.

 
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