Events in Lubbock, Keeping Americans Flying on Time and Fracking

May 1, 2013 Issues: Family Values, Energy, Economy and Jobs, Happening in West Texas

Events in Lubbock This Week

I’m looking forward to spending this week at home in Lubbock meeting with constituents.  Tonight, I’ll be talking with a local Boy Scout troop about our Constitution and why it’s important to be active in our democracy.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll meet with the West Texas Homebuilders Association.  After that, I’ll speak to the Lubbock Lions Club—the largest Lions Club chapter in the United States.  Tuesday afternoon, I’ll meet with my financial services advisory group to talk about what I can do in Washington to keep Lubbock and America’s markets strong.  On Wednesday, I’ll celebrate Cinco de Mayo a few days early at the Chamber of Commerce lunch.  I’ll also be meeting with peace officers to commemorate National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day.  On Thursday, I’ll attend the Lubbock Community Prayer Breakfast to mark the National Day of Prayer.  On this day, people of all faiths are encouraged to pray for our nation; a tradition that traces its roots to the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation.  After the prayer breakfast, I’ll head over to the Reese Center at Texas Tech to introduce legislation to help reduce windstorm damage. I hope to see you at one of these events—please stop by and say hi!

Keeping Americans Flying On Time

After a week of delays caused by the Obama Administration’s decision to furlough air traffic controllers, Democrats in Washington agreed to join Republicans in making smarter cuts, rather than penalizing Americans.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was required to cut 5% of its budget under sequestration.  As I’ve told you before, I never supported sequestration.  But since Democrats wouldn’t join with Republicans to replace the across-the-board cuts with more common-sense reforms, agencies have to comply with it.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is trying to make this process as painful as possible for the American people, in order to score political points.  The FAA had the flexibility to cut their costs without delaying travelers, but they chose to furlough controllers instead.  For instance, the FAA could cut the $8 million they spend sending employees to conferences in cities like Las Vegas.  A five percent reduction in the FAA’s current operations budget is equivalent to the FAA’s entire budget in 2010 – proving that the agency can operate on this budget without having to furlough air traffic controllers.  I was glad that Democrats agreed that we shouldn’t play politics with taxpayer dollars, and instead, turn our focus to smarter government by cutting inefficiencies. So last week, I voted to replace the furloughs by trimming the fat from another FAA program. I’m going to continue working to reduce government spending through targeted cuts to wasteful programs. 

Keeping the Administration Honest on Fracking

In West Texas, we know a thing or two about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  We’ve been using this practice for decades to produce energy.  New technology is allowing us to access more natural gas reserves now than ever before, and we’re able to produce massive amounts of reliable, clean, and cheap energy.  The Cline Shale and the Eagle Shale are both booming centers of economic growth and job creation right nearby.  The Obama Administration has a working group that is supposed to be researching policy efforts to support safe and responsible natural gas development.  This group was supposed to provide a draft research plan last October, and a final plan this January.  It has already missed both deadlines.  So last week, the House Science Subcommittees on Energy & Environment held a hearing to review the working group’s progress.

I explained how important fracking is to West Texas, and urged the working group to work closely with industry to ensure that they are using the best possible data from the people doing the work on the ground.  We all want clean, safe, reliable energy, and I’ll make sure that any government research helps us power our nation forward. 

Action Item
This Saturday is Lemonade Day.  It’s a great event that introduces children to entrepreneurship and business management.  I hope to see you there!