Dec 21 2012
This week, the House and Senate approved in a bipartisan manner the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012, which I proudly cosponsored. The House bill was offered by Texas Congressman Ralph Hall and the Senate bill was offered by Texas Senator John Cornyn.
As you may know, nearly 1.6 million customers of the North Texas Municipal Water District, many of whom reside in the 32nd Congressional District, have restricted access to water as a result of the discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Texoma. This water source constitutes roughly 28% of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s available supply of raw water. The reduction in available resources has put a tremendous stress on the District and its ability to assure its customers that there will be an adequate supply of water in the future.
The North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act allows the adequate and steady stream of water to be restored to North Texans without the use of taxpayer dollars. The North Texas Municipal Water District will resume water transfers from Lake Texoma through a conveyance system in a safe and dependable manner that has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
I am pleased that both chambers were able to work together on this important, common-sense legislation that removes a bureaucratic barrier which has prevented the North Texas Municipal Water District from transporting water from Lake Texoma. I would like to thank both Congressman Hall and Senator Cornyn for their efforts, and look forward to the President signing this legislation into law.
Fiscal Cliff Update
As Congressional leaders and President Obama continue to work on a plan to avert the fiscal cliff, I remain committed to a solution that protects as many families and small businesses in North Texas as possible from seeing an automatic tax increase on January 1. Additionally, I believe it is imperative that we take serious steps towards reducing our nation’s unsustainable spending and address the long-term drivers of our debt.
Over the past several months, House Republicans have passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff which I have outlined below. We voted to extend the current tax rates for all Americans, and approved a plan to replace the harmful sequester –which would threaten national security and cause massive layoffs – with common sense spending cuts and reforms.
- The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 (H.R. 5652) provides alternative mandatory spending reductions in order to replace the devastating cuts set to take effect in 2013. The savings contained in this legislation were produced by six House committees under reconciliation instructions contained in the House Concurrent Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 112). This legislation was passed in May 2012.
- The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) extends all current tax rates for every American through 2013. This legislation was passed in August 2012.
It is my hope that the Senate will join House Republicans in passing these responsible bills to avert the fiscal cliff. I stand ready to work with my all of my colleagues to pass legislation that will grow our economy, create an environment ripe for job creation and put our country back on a path to fiscal prosperity.