Back in the Lone Star State

In: The Lonestar Weekly   Posted 10/15/2019

I spent the past two weeks traveling all over our great state to discuss important issues affecting Texas – and had a little bit of fun at the country’s greatest state fair.

I sat down with mental health professionals and policy makers in both the Permian Basin and Galveston to discuss what we can do to improve outreach and prevent shootings like the one that happened in Odessa in August. I want to use these discussions to shape my response in Congress so we can make sure these mental health crises and shootings never happen again.

At the University of Texas at San Antonio, I was fortunate to meet with student veterans to highlight a newly expanded GI bill scholarship for veterans pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This comes as a result of my Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act, which President Trump signed into law last month and which broadens GI benefits for veterans pursuing certain degrees in STEM fields.

It’s always a treat to pay a visit to Army Futures Command in Austin, but I was especially proud to help them announce a new partnership between Army Futures Command and the Texas A&M University System. I’m excited to see what some of the brightest minds in Texas can come up with together in support of our national security.

In Houston, I held a roundtable with survivors and victims’ rights advocates about reauthorizing my Debbie Smith Act and what we can do to close the rape kit backlog. It was a privilege to sit with and listen to these brave women, and I aim to do everything in my power to make sure bills like the Debbie Smith Act that are so important for survivors of sexual assault are reauthorized and can help the people that need them.

And finally, I got to spend some time at the State Fair of Texas, the longest-running fair in the nation. While there, I visited with Vietnam War veterans and toured some of the exhibits. Of course, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t try some of the food, like Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone and the Big Red Chicken Bread. They were exactly as delicious as they sound.

It’s always great to be back home in Texas, but it’s time to return to Washington to keep representing you and fighting for the issues that matter most to our great state.

For Texas,