Victims' Rights Caucus


Electronic Newsletter

Dec 15 2006


As many of you know I, along with other Gulf Coast members of Congress, have been advocating for increased offshore drilling for months. Success came late last week as Congress passed a bipartisan agreement to open over eight million new acres for oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The good news is that states like Texas will be able to collect some of the offshore oil revenue that has been going exclusively to the Federal government. This money can be used by the states to help fund education and for other improvements as the state sees fit.

The agreement is expected to increase domestic supplies of energy, strengthen national security, and help consumers with the price of oil and gas.

The agreement makes available more than 1.26 billion barrels of oil, an amount equivalent to 50% of current annual domestic production. The legislation will now be sent to President Bush to be signed into law.

Also last week we passed a two year extension of the expired tax breaks including extension of the state and local sales tax deduction. This extension ensures equitable tax treatment for Texans and all Americans until 2008.

The fight on our border continues. Those of you who have HDNet on your cable or satellite may have seen the premiere of Dan Rather Reports which devoted an entire hour to the problems Texans face on the Texas-Mexico border. Sheriff Rick Flores, who I have met with on my more than five trips to the border, reiterated to Rather what Ive been saying for months, The border is broken and it needs to be fixed. We must realize that people from all over the world are coming in illegally and some pose significant danger to our nation. We protect the borders of other countries, why dont we protect our own?

I plan to visit the border again next year and hold the US government accountable for securing our nation and promoting homeland security.