As many of you know I, along with other Gulf Coast members of Congress, have been advocating for increased offshore drilling for months. Success came late last week as Congress passed a bipartisan agreement to open over eight million new acres for oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The good news is that states like Texas will be able to collect some of the offshore oil revenue that has been going exclusively to the Federal government. This money can be used by the states to help fund education and for other improvements as the state sees fit.

The agreement is expected to increase domestic supplies of energy, strengthen national security, and help consumers with the price of oil and gas.

The agreement makes available more than 1.26 billion barrels of oil, an amount equivalent to 50% of current annual domestic production. The legislation will now be sent to President Bush to be signed into law.

Also last week we passed a two year extension of the expired tax breaks including extension of the state and local sales tax deduction. This extension ensures equitable tax treatment for Texans and all Americans until 2008.

The fight on our border continues. Those of you who have HDNet on your cable or satellite may have seen the premiere of Dan Rather Reports which devoted an entire hour to the problems Texans face on the Texas-Mexico border. Sheriff Rick Flores, who I have met with on my more than five trips to the border, reiterated to Rather what Ive been saying for months, The border is broken and it needs to be fixed. We must realize that people from all over the world are coming in illegally and some pose significant danger to our nation. We protect the borders of other countries, why dont we protect our own?

I plan to visit the border again next year and hold the US government accountable for securing our nation and promoting homeland security.

When Congress reconvenes in January, Members will have new committee assignments. I have had a successful year on the House Committee on International Relations (Terrorism subcommittee), the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Aviation subcommittee and Waterways subcommittee) and the House Committee on Small Business.

New committees will be assigned in January and I will be sure to send out an email to let you know on which committees I will serve.

I look forward to the 110th Congress and working across the aisle to accomplish our goals for the 2nd Congressional District of Texas. We will tackle the cost of healthcare, government spending, and funding. I have always prided myself on being an independent thinker who will stand up for the interests of my district. I look forward to continuing my leadership on issues such as border security, victims rights, and economic development.

Some of you may have noticed that my e-newsletter and website has changed a bit. My new site can be found at and still has access to my daily House floor speeches (both text and video), my recent press releases and all my District 2 constituent services including a feedback email link. Please log on and send me an email. Let me know what is on your mind.

Thank you to everyone I have talked with out in the community the past few weeks. Dont forget to tune in every Tuesday morning at 7am to KFNC 97.5FM in Houston and Beaumont to catch the Ted Poet Society with Pruett and Shannon and 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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