My staff and I spent August traveling throughout the 23rd Congressional District of Texas meeting with constituents, business owners and elected officials while eating delicious frozen treats at several of our local Dairy Queens. We called it our DC to DQ tour and it was all about listening to you.
My title is “Representativeâ€ but itâ€™s also my job description. In order to do that well, I have to find out from the people I represent which issues are important to them.
And because I donâ€™t know the answer to every question, I also listen for solutions at the same time. The folks who came out had a lot to say and I listened closely.
While there are specific issues that impact different areas of our vast district, there were some topics that were brought up at nearly every stop.
Overwhelmingly, the nuclear deal with Iran came up the most. Concerns over this deal run deep and I share them. Iran simply cannot be trusted. Their continued violent rhetoric exposes their hatred for the United States and desire to see Israel destroyed.
The actions of the Iranian government provide no confidence that their intentions have or will ever change. Like most of you, I believe this deal will lead to further destabilization in the Middle East by giving Iran more money to promote terrorism and continue to seek the capability to build a nuclear arsenal.
A vote on this deal will be held when Congress returns to Washington and I will continue to work to try to defeat it.
Border security was also a hot topic during my journey. People remain concerned about our borders and violent drug and human traffickers. As I shared during these stops, Congress is working on legislation that will give our Border Patrol Agents more flexibility to employ the measures that are best for the area they protect.
But thatâ€™s just step number one. We also need to enforce our laws and fix our broken immigration system.
We can stem the tide of illegal immigration, while making it easier for our nation to continue to benefit from the brain-drain and hard-working drain of those who seek to come here legally from other countries.
We can secure the border and facilitate the movement of goods and services at the same time.
During my travels I also heard from numerous Veterans and their families expressing concern with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress continues to pass legislation with the goal of cleaning up the VA and getting rid of the bad apples whose actions put the health and lives of our Veterans in jeopardy. Weâ€™re also working to make it easier for Veterans to get the care theyâ€™ve earned by creating greater access to health care professionals.
Though Congress will continue to work to fix the VA, Iâ€™ve made special efforts to make sure the Veterans in the 23rd Congressional District are getting the attention their cases deserve. Two staffers on my team are solely dedicated to veterans and military affairs. Retired Air Force General David Young is a surgeon who has extensive experience navigating the VA system.
And Army Veteran Jon Arnold knows first-hand the challenges that our Veterans face. I encourage any Veterans who need help with the VA to get in touch with the General or Jon by calling our Northside San Antonio office at 210-921-3130.
The best part of the DC2DQ tour was how often I heard someone say that we had helped them solve a problem they were facing with a federal agency. Many Veterans struggling with the VA and seniors who needed help with Medicare have gotten the answers and care they needed.
Not all of the problems that ail our nation can be solved through votes and legislation, but I can fight the bureaucracy on behalf of the folks who canâ€™t. I consider this the most important and rewarding part of my job.
We set a goal of visiting every part of the District that I represent during the summer district work period and Iâ€™m glad to say that we met that goal.
My thanks to everyone who helped us plan these events and to those who came out to share their thoughts. I look forward to taking your concerns and ideas back to Washington with me.