SAN ANTONIO – President Joe Biden is officially in office, marking a big shift in political ideas and plans in the executive office. So what does that mean for people in and around San Antonio?
2021 didn’t exactly start off on the best note.
“We’ve seen those images. And in other countries, you know, they run into the presidential palace, they run into legislative buildings, that had happened to other countries. That should not be happening here in the U.S.,” Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar said.
“That’s a day I never want to see ever again. We have to make sure that we study that, and we make sure that never happens again,” Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales said.
On Jan. 6, what was supposed to be the start of a peaceful transition of power, ended in riots and chaos at the Capitol, but now there are goals to heal and unite a nation.
“Right now we’re in a contentious period in our nation’s history. And we just need to come together. We need to calm things down. We realize we have more in common than we don’t. We have a vaccine that we have to get rolled out. We have a virus that we have to defeat. We have an economy that we got to get going again,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales is a new Republican congressman, representing Texas’s 23rd district, and, amongst other positions in the house, he sits on the appropriations committee.
Also on the Appropriations Committee, but on the other side of the aisle, Democrat Cuellar represents Texas’ 28th district.
“I believe in bi-partisanship. I believe that an idea, it’s not a republican idea or a democratic idea, it’s an idea that it’s good for everybody,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar has represented his constituents since 2005, and has certain goals for the start of the Biden administration.
“We’re going to have to work with them for a new stimulus package, and part of that is to include making sure that the federal government gets involved with the vaccine rollout,” Cuellar said.
Although the idea of another stimulus package isn’t set in stone, defeating the virus is a nonpartisan issue.
“I want to see the vaccine distributed to all parts of my district and all parts of the state, from big cities like San Antonio to rural communities, everybody needs it. I’d like to see our first line responders both in health care, border patrol agents get the resources they need to tackle this virus and distribute it [the vaccine],” Gonzales said.
Both congressmen said the economy needs to be opened back up to help Texans get back on their feet. Defeating the virus and revitalizing the economy are clearly top priorities, but that’s not all there is on the agenda for our local lawmakers.
“I want to work with the administration wherever possible. There are some concerns that I have as far as holding China accountable from a national security standpoint, ensuring that our southern border has all the resources they need, our border patrol agents, our police officers on the ground that are doing the work every day, and have the resources they need,” Gonzales said.
It hasn’t been an easy start, but the 117th Congress has big plans to put our country and our local communities back on the right track.
“We’re going through very difficult times. But keep in mind that even though we’ve seen chaos, especially in the last couple of weeks, with the riots and all that, will come out strength,” Cuellar said.
“We’re going through very difficult times. But keep in mind that even though we’ve seen chaos, especially in the last couple of weeks, the riots and all that, will come out strength,” Cuellar said.