Hurd: Legislation needed to fix health care funding
KIM EAGLE STAFF WRITER
While cyber security may be his area of expertise having spent many years as a CIA spy, Congressman Will Hurd got a crash course in agriculture during a recent visit to Uvalde.
On March 12, Hurd visited Southwest Livestock Exchange where he received a tour of the facilities and talked to several well-established farmers and ranchers about their legislative concerns.
“The facility here, it’s great,” Hurd said. “They have been doing this here for 50 years. It’s interesting understanding how the price of corn is impacted by the price of cattle and what that does on international markets.
“I learned a lot about this industry, its impact, and things that I should be thinking of while in Washington D.C.”
Hurd has been the representative of District 23 for just a couple of months, but he said visiting new places and talking to new people is one of the best parts of the job.
“I met some people here today that have been coming to this exact place for 50 years,” he said.
Hurd touched on issues facing residents of Uvalde County, including agriculture, water and the potential fiscal cliff facing Community Health Development Inc.
“Your community health center could potentially lose about 70 percent of their funding, and it supports and provides help to about 12,000 people.”
When asked if this could be fixed by grants or other means, he said that in Uvalde it’s about fixing the actual funding solution.
“So, this is not just unique to Uvalde, the community health centers in Del Rio and San Antonio face this as well,” Hurd said. “Community health centers are very important to all communities but especially those in rural areas. There has to be legislation to fix that funding long term.”
He talked about Uvalde’s greatest contributions to society, which he believes to be agriculture.
“This is a huge producer of agriculture,” Hurd said of Uvalde County. “It’s the life blood of this state. You have also produced a number of leaders like John Nance Garner and Dolph Briscoe.”
During his talk with local producers, Hurd said they asked about water rights, Environmental Protection Agency regulations and national security.
“In general, people are concerned with their safety,” Hurd said. “They are worried about ISIS, about Iran, and making sure our national policy is keeping us safe.
“And that is something that I have direct impact on.”
WOMEN’S RIGHTS, RACISM
Hurd made the trip to Selma on March 7 to participate in some of the civil rights marches and gatherings remembering those who fought and died for the right to vote 50 years ago.
“It’s crazy to think how far things have come in 50 years,” he said of civil rights and racism in general. “To think that men and women were willing to get beaten and die and put in jail for the right to vote.
“This should be an example for all those people that have that right and don’t exercise it. That the blood sweat and tears that were spent to get that for everyone, should be remembered and honored.”
He pointed out that while racism does still exist, as a whole, the country is moving in the right direction. “When my parents moved to San Antonio in 1971, they never thought that their son could be a member of Congress... but there is always work to be done.”
When asked about women’s rights, especially equal pay for equal work, Hurd was in agreement with women all over the country.
“Look, there is no one in Washington D.C. that disagrees with that,” he said. “A woman should be paid the same as a man for the same work.
“It’s unfortunate that some people try to paint my party as one that doesn’t support that. I want to make sure my 18-year-old niece has the same opportunities that everyone else has.”
He believes this is best achieved through education.
“Education is important,” Hurd said. “I say education is a national security issue.”
To contact Congressman Hurd, send letters to his office at 317 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 or call his staff at 202-225-4511.