UPDATE: POE AMENDMENT PASSES HOUSE
Amendment blocks FAA funding for TRACON Consolidations at SE TX Regional Airport
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) hails the passage of the Hastings/Poe/Filner/Bono amendment to H.R. 3074, the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Act for FY08, by a vote of 268-158.
"This is a major victory for the Southeast Texas Regional Airport," said Poe. "This amendment blocks all funding appropriated to the FAA to consolidate TRACON facilities across the country, including those at Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Beaumont. I will continue to work in bipartisan fashion with my colleagues in Congress and local officials to put an end to the notion of consolidation in our area indefinitely. The safety and security in our skies is far more valuable than any attempt by the FAA to save money. The FAA failed to prove time and time again that these proposed consolidations will save any money or jobs."
Over the past few weeks, legislation has been brought before Congress that would jeopardize a victory in Iraq and raise taxes on the American people two things I cannot support. I voted against both bills, I will not cut-and-run in Iraq nor will I support a $400 billion tax increase.
God and Texas,
SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS
The Emergency War Supplemental or more aptly named, the Iraq Surrender Bill passed the US House of Representatives 218-212 and was sharply divided along party lines. House leadership introduced the bill and offered incentives to Member of Congress by tacking on billions in non-emergency funding to appeal to their constituents. I voted against the Iraq Surrender Bill and I will not barter my position. I will not betray our troops for 30 pieces of silver or $3 billion of squealing pork.
Our military men and women on the ground in Iraq deserve better from their elected officials. To leave now or to designate a predetermined retreat date would be a mistake and ultimately leave the Iraqi people defenseless against extremist groups and Islamofascists waiting for any opening to take over control of the country. I will not support any effort to cut off funding and nickel-and-dime this war to its death. As outlined by our forefathers in our Constitution, the President has authority over our military. War can not be won by bureaucrats, and politicians preoccupied with power, making decisions that hinder the efforts on the battlefield.
War on Terror - Related Legislation:
· HR 1213, REWARD Act SPONSOR--Offers Tax incentives to employers to maintain pay for deployed military reservists
· HR 1538, Wounded Warrior Assistance Act VOTED YES--Helps recovering service members navigate hospital bureaucracy
There are two things that are certain in life, death and taxes. I do not believe that one should be taxed to death however. This week, as many American families are filing their Income Tax Returns, legislation to enact the largest tax increase in U.S. history came before the House. Everyone who pays taxes is affected by this increase. It is not just an increase on the rich, it is an increase on every American who pays taxes. I voted against this bill, but it passed the House by a vote of 216-210.
· H.Con.Res. 99--Increases spending and raises taxes VOTED NO
More good news for the Port of Beaumont and surrounding areas my amendment to fast track improvements to the Sabine Neches Waterway (SNWW) was included in the Water Resources Development Act Reauthorization (WRDA). Currently, improvements to widen and deepen the SNWW can not take place until the Army Corps of Engineers completes their study of the project. The amendment will require the Army Corps of engineers to fast track the study thereby initiating the much needed improvements to the SNWW.
Border Security took another blow recently with the sentencing of former Rocksprings Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez. Hernandez was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, three years of supervised probation, $5,000 fine and has to pay approximately $5,000 in restitution to the injured illegal. Hernandez was convicted in December 2006 for violating the civil rights of an illegal who was injured when the Suburban in which she was being smuggled in attempted to flee a traffic stop made by Hernandez.
Border Security - Related Legislation/Action
· H. Con. Res. 83--supports State and local governments for taking actions to discourage illegal immigration SPONSOR
· HR 1811, Maritime Law Enforcement Improvement Act COSPONSOR--Makes smuggling people by sea a felony
· H.R. 1314, Photo Identification Security Act COSPONSOR--Closes loophole for accepted IDs by financial institutions
· Letter to House Leadership requesting hearings on Ramos/Compean case
SAN JACINTO RIVER CLEAN UP
Congressman Gene Green and I have called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up a long-forgotten industrial waste site that has poisoned the San Jacinto River for decades and to designate the zone a Superfund site for the health and safety of our constituents. The contaminated area of the river east of Houston sends dioxin-laced sediment all the way to Galveston Bay. The San Jacinto River area has long been a recreational site for families in eastern Harris County. The pollution caused by the waste site threatens the quality of life and the health of the folks that live along the river and we can not continue to ignore the seriousness of this situation.
MEETINGS, EVENTS & AWARDS
I have met with Karl Rove and the TX Delegation to discuss immigration issues; German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck and a delegation of German Officials;
representatives with the Sabine River Authority; the Baytown Fire and Emergency Services; Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association; Texas Association of Mortgage Brokers; Sabine-Neches Waterway and Navigation District; and Beaumont Councilmembers Audwin Samuel and Bobbie Patterson.
I spoke to students at Creekwood Middle School and had the honor of reading to the Kindergarten students at Krahn Elementary school. I attended the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for The Tuskegee Airmen and the Port of Houston Authority's Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal Congressional Reception.
The Park People, a non-for-profit citizens organization, advocates for restoring parks and other natural areas honored me with the "Visionary Award," for my work in securing Freeway Landscaping in the Houston area.
I was on CNNs Lou Dobbs this past week for a special presentation on the Ramos/Compean case. I also appeared on CNNs Glenn Beck show, Fox News LIVE with E.D. Hill, and talked with KSEVs Aubrey Theode, Jack Peiper in Beaumont and KBTV Channel 4 News.
Be sure to keep tuning in to catch me on with Dominick Brascia on the Morning Blend every other Monday on KOLE 1380AM in Beaumont and on Fox 26 Morning News in Houston to talk about issues in the news.