By Representative Pete Sessions
This week, I spent time in North Texas for the District Work week. As always, I enjoy the opportunity to spend time with my constituents in the community and learn about the issues most important to them.
For the Love of the Lake
On Saturday, I participated in a "For the Love of the Lake" clean-up of White Rock Lake. For more than 10 years, I have participated as an Adopt-A-Shoreline Team Leader with other volunteers dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of White Rock Lake Park. Founded in 1995, For the Love of the Lake has made a tremendous impact on conservation in our community with hands-on projects, most notably picking up litter and recyclables each month.
I am always pleased to have constituents join me for Saturday clean-ups. If you are interested in receiving notifications of when I will be out at the lake, please contact Flo Helton in my Dallas office at Flo.Helton@mail.house.gov or 972.392.0505.
Exchange Club of East Dallas
On Wednesday, I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Exchange Club of East Dallas' meeting and to give an update on the current topics being discussed in Washington -- chronic unemployment, high energy prices and unprecedented debt levels. I also discussed my role on the House Rules Committee and our commitment to an open and transparent process. I shared with the group the changes that the Republican-controlled committee has embraced, such as allowing for amendments from both sides of the aisle and giving our constituents an opportunity to view the legislation we are debating online.
After my remarks, I answered questions about various issues -- energy prices, homeland security and the economy. I shared my support for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create American jobs, as well as other energy initiatives passed by the House this year. We also talked about the Plan for America's Job Creators and the more than 30 House-passed bills awaiting Senate action. To learn more about the Exchange Club of East Dallas, visit http://exchangeclubofeastdallas.org/.
Taco Bueno Visit
Also on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Taco Bueno Headquarters in Dallas to learn more about the company and also how federal laws impact it. Taco Bueno has over 3,000 employees nationwide and the majority of those employees are in the state of Texas.
Taco Bueno, like many American companies, has already felt the negative impact of the Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank bill, a 2,300 page financial overhaul that brought forth an explosion of government regulations. Additionally, Taco Bueno is now concerned with the impact that the government takeover of health care could have as a major cost increase for the company. As we have heard from countless businesses, the impact of the health care law may lead to slowed growth, fewer employees and expansion of their companies outside of the US.
Furthermore, this week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released two analyses of the health care law which underscore its negative impact on our nation's economy. The first, released on Tuesday, predicted the health care law will actually cost nearly $1.8 trillion between 2012 and 2022. CBO originally estimated its cost to be $938 billion between 2010 and 2019. On Thursday, CBO released an analysis which finds that three to five million Americans will be pushed out of their employer-provided health insurance each year from 2019 through 2022 under the President's health care law. As your Member of Congress, I will continue to fight to repeal the new health care law and replace it with patient-centered solutions to assist American families and businesses.
North Texas Food Bank Visit
On Thursday, I was delighted to join my Dallas office staff and local volunteers at the North Texas Food Bank's Cockrell Hill warehouse to sort and pack Senior Care Packages. The NTFB depends on the support of volunteers from our community to ensure it can provide for those in need and remain efficient. Additionally, the NTFB recently expanded to a second warehouse, thus doubling their need for volunteers.
Congressman Pete Sessions with volunteers at the North Texas Food Bank.
During this continued period of economic distress for our state and nation, more and more North Texas families depend on organizations like the NTFB to put food on their table. The NTFB has increased its food distribution by 20% this year compared to 2011. To learn more about the NTFB and how to volunteer, visit http://www.ntfb.org/.