BY PETE GALLEGO
Iâ€™ve heard it said in Texas that “life, liberty and property are only safe when the Legislature is not in session.â€ I think many would argue that this is even more true of Congress. And, Congress officially returned to Washington from its August recess this past Monday.
On the personal side, itâ€™s always difficult to leave your wife and son behind. I feel like NicolÃ¡s grows an inch every time I leave. MarÃa Elena has to deal with the daily duties of parenting, but she also gets to share the ups and downs of 4th grade with him. I miss the daily interaction with both of them, but Iâ€™m also mindful that many of our troops overseas are parents, too – and they donâ€™t get to see their families on weekends.
August was hugely productive. I visited over 20 communities and drove some 2,500 miles over the course of about two weeks. I much enjoy driving through South and West Texas, meeting with constituents and all the while learning new things about the history of our great state, its people, its cultures and itâ€™s challenges.
While on the road, I updated veterans on the changes coming to the VA system. I talked with health care providers about insurance issues and reimbursement rates. I talked with waiters and waitresses about my efforts to let them keep more of their tips. I spoke to teachers and students about the upcoming school year. And, I also talked to parents of our sons and daughters in uniform about my efforts to make sure their kids have all they need while serving our country.
My conversations with constituents covered a wide range of issues ranging from the Middle East to our own borders here at home, the need for immigration reform and how to improve our countryâ€™s economy. In Alpine, I reminisced with several cousins, some old friends, family members and neighbors.
Along the way, I also stopped to enjoy some high school football. Climbed a mountain to watch the sun rise. Marveled at the beauty of the Pecos River above Amistad Reservoir.
Joined the crowds at the Marfa Lights Festival and ate at Mandoâ€™s in Marfa — where Iâ€™ve been going since I was in high school. And, I visited several historic sites with NicolÃ¡s.
The trip brought childhood memories of growing up in West Texas. It made me value my job even more. Iâ€™m looking forward to the next few weeks. As always, Iâ€™m ready to work with Democrats, Republican, Independents and Libertarians on solutions that help create jobs, improve our economy and provide more educational opportunities for South and West Texans.
Letâ€™s get to work. As these weeks go by, make sure to visit our website, www.gallego.house.gov or our Facebook or Twitter pages to get the latest.
If you need help from our office, please contact us. You can find all the information about our office hours and locations at www.gallego.house.gov.
Itâ€™s an honor to represent you. Thank you for your trust.
For more information on U.S. Rep. Gallego, visit www.gallego.house.gov. Learn more about U.S. Rep. Gallego by liking his Facebook page or by following him on Twitter.
U.S. Representative Pete P. Gallego, D-Alpine, represents the 23rd District of Texas, which includes all or parts of 29 counties in southwest Texas, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso. He serves on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees.