If you must use labels, then I am a Texas Democrat: fiscally conservative and socially liberal. In the tradition of LBJ, Jim Wright, Ann Richards, Martin Frost, Sam Rayburn, Lloyd Bentson, etc. They all rose to state and national leadership because they were careful with tax payer funds, but still found the political and monetary capital to take care of the elderly, those in need of health care, people facing discrimination, our veterans, and especially our children.
“What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
We owe that famous line to Senator Howard Baker, a Republican from Tennessee, who co-chaired the Watergate Hearings that ultimately led to the resignation of a Republican president. I’m James Cargas, The Democratic candidate for United States Congress on the West side of Houston.
We have heard and read a great deal about Russia’s interference in the recent presidential elections, but not from Capitol Hill.
Congressional District 7 has experienced some of the worst flooding in Texas – especially when Brays Bayou overflows its banks. This includes communities like Meyerland, Braeswood and Willowbend. Every year, we experience another 100-year flood. Every year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spends billions for damages and property loses. If elected, I will ensure that the US Army Corps of Engineers are fully funded so they can get back on schedule with widening Brays Bayou and repairing Barker and Addicks Dams, which are in extremely critical condition.
If Houston is to retain its title of Energy Capitol to the world, it needs to encourage and promote its booming renewable and wind industries as well as its traditional oil and gas industries. While the fossil energy employers are laying people off, the renewable energy employers are hiring. If elected, I will promote an “all of the above” comprehensive energy policy that includes traditional sources like natural gas and petroleum, but also renewable sources like solar, wind, wave, tidal, geothermal and hydroelectric, as well as nuclear. As an energy lawyer and expert, I also understand the importance of energy conservation.
The Texas Medical Center contains 54 world-class educational and research institutions and top-tier hospitals employing 106,000 Houstonians with an annual economic impact of $20 billion for the Houston area. Its economic future and preeminence in scientific research have been in peril for over a decade as federal funding for science has been below the rate of inflation. During the 2008-2011 great recession, it was even more acute as private donors were less able to make up the difference. The 2013 sequestration devastated science funding even more. Congress must fully fund science and biotechnology. In Texas, every dollar spent on research generates $2.49 in economic activity. Research funding also creates thousands of highly skilled jobs, can help America recapture the lead in research, and save lives with new discoveries.
Fact: 11 to 20 million undocumented people live in the United States. Building larger more expensive walls will not change this. These individuals are already here, and the overwhelming majority of them are living, working and contributing to our economy and communities. America will benefit socially and economically from comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. Yet Donald Trump, John Culberson and their Tea Party keep blocking reform while wasting tax payer funds on expensive walls and militarization of our borders. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, ending the underground and untaxed economy will generate an additional $1.4 billion in tax revenue for the Houston area alone.
Congressional District 7 includes the Galleria which has the worst traffic in Texas, and the Katy Freeway, one of Texas’ largest parking lots during rush hours. It’s no coincidence that the District also lacks any light rail or meaningful mass transit. This is the deliberate obstructionist work of John Culberson and his decade-plus crusade to block and waste METRO’s federal funding.
House Republicans are playing with our lives when they play political games and refuse to fund Zika virus treatment and research.
Last year, we learned the Zika virus was on its way to America. In February, the President asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding for mosquito control, treatment, and development of a vaccine. House Republicans slashed that request by almost 50%, to $1.1 billion, and then, in August, left for a month-long vacation without passing the requested legislation or approving any funds for this critical effort. Not a penny!
After a Texan, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, the US Supreme Court eviscerated a key provision. Since then Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have found voter ID laws to be discriminatory. Congress needs to restore the Voting Rights Act and preserve the most fundamental right of all Americans.
You do not need to be a member of the GLBTQ community to see, hear and read of the discrimination they face. While the US Supreme Court had to take action and affirm marriage equality was in the Constitution, Congress has more work to do to prevent discrimination in the work place, medical treatment and adoptions. America is no place for hate. It is a place that offers everyone an equal opportunity to live, work and have pride in being an American.
The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own guns. When one person’s rights infringe on another’s right to life and liberty, Congress needs to mediate. John Culberson and the Republican House Leadership refuse to block anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun, and they refuse to close the background check loopholes. I will. Over 97% of the people on the FAA no-fly list and FBI’s terror watch list are not American and the vast majority do not even live in the United States. Furthermore, it just isn’t fair to allow some people to undergo a background check before buying a gun, and look the other way for others. I would end the special treatment and have everyone undergo a background check. Congress must take immediate action. America cannot afford another Newtown, Tucson, Oak Creek, Orlando, Dallas, Charleston, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs.