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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. O'ROURKE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to your attention the devastating impacts that the sequester will have on my community, El Paso, Texas. The numbers speak for themselves. Two weeks of furloughs for Customs and Border Patrol officers--that's the equivalent of losing 5,000 border patrol agents and almost 3,000 CBP officers at our ports of entry. Mind you, more than $450 billion in trade passes through our ports of entry every year. More than 100,000 jobs in my home community depend on the free, secure flow of goods, trade, and people through our ports of entry, and jobs are at stake.

In addition, 11,000 civilian employees at Fort Bliss in El Paso will be furloughed for 22 days. These are the middle class Americans who care for our wounded warriors when they return from war and make our military base run efficiently. These individuals will be facing a 20 percent cut because Congress cannot muster the courage to come up with a responsible solution.

In addition to these job losses, El Paso children will bear a large burden through the elimination of teachers and classroom aides and Head Start slots.

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