On a recent trip to the Western and Southern parts of the district, I had an opportunity to lay out real ideas and solutions to receptive audiences regarding opportunities for economic development. I discussed the possibility of the development of an intramodal facility in Eagle Pass and Del Rio to capture the trade benefits from Mexico and South America while relieving congestion in and around Laredo. The 23rd District is situated in an optimal location to economically benefit from this type of facility.
Everywhere I traveled, I heard repeatedly from individuals who were very concerned and upset about the incumbent Congressman's unwillingness to support the U.S.-Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement. Several people indicated that they feel he is out of touch with the economic needs of this district and worry that his decision will negatively affect their community. We need a Congressman who is committed to representing the economic interests of this district, not special interest groups in Washington.
As gas prices continue to soar to record levels, people across the district are feeling the impact. According to AAA, today's nationwide average cost of a gallon of gasoline is $3.61, which is $1.28 higher than the day Democrats took control of Congress in 2007. This drastic change not only translates to a 35% increase in the cost of gasoline, but increases the cost of food and other goods. While Congress continues to take no action to provide relief from outrageous gas prices, I have developed a comprehensive plan to address this issue. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will present the plan in detail.
Border security continues to be an issue of great importance to many people in the district. While the 23rd Congressional District contains over 600 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, the district deserves a representative in Congress who will address this issue. I continue to advocate for the expansion of Operation Streamline along the entire length of the border and for the creation of a Border Guard, comprised of the Congressmen and Senators who represent the border communities, to provide legislative guidance to the Congress. As your Congressman I will take ownership of the issues of border security and immigration and ensure that policies dealing with these issues are addressed by the Congressman representing this district.