Rep. Henry Cuellar
Born as one of eight children to migrant farm workers in Laredo, Texas, Congressman Cuellar was raised with strong family values and an unwavering work ethic to attain an advanced education. As the most degreed member of Congress, he points to education as the platform for his two decades of public service in Texas. After earning his associate's degree from Laredo Community College, he used the skills and confidence he gained to enroll in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While attending Georgetown, he washed dishes and worked other jobs to afford his college degree, graduating from Georgetown Cum Laude. When he returned to Texas, Congressman Cuellar completed a master's degree in International Trade at Texas A&M International University and earned a law degree and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1981, Congressman Cuellar opened his own law firm and became a licensed customs broker in 1983. He worked at his beloved alma mater, TAMIU, as an Adjunct Professor for International Commercial Law from 1984 to 1986. The following year, Congressman Cuellar decided to fully dedicate his life to public service and served as a Texas State Representative from 1987 until he was appointed as the Texas Secretary of State in 2001. Congressman Cuellar and his wife, Imelda, reside in Laredo, Texas with their two daughters, Christy and Catie. During his first three terms in Congress, he's stood out among his congressional colleagues as an advocate for better government, commerce and trade, small businesses and border security. Congressman Cuellar is widely recognized as a leader on homeland security, border security and national emergency preparedness and response. In the 114th Congress, he currently serves on the influential House Appropriations Committee making him the only Texas Democrat to serve on the committee. This committee is in charge of overseeing the Federal budget, reviewing proposed expenditures and crafting the legislation that outlines annual spending for government agencies. Within this committee, Mr. Cuellar also serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. Congressman Cuellar has been a legislative champion for government transparency and accountability, authoring and passing legislation in Congress to reform federal agency procedures and to eliminate bureaucratic redundancy. He serves as the Region IV Representative of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, where he guides policy and legislation in Congress through his leadership role. Congressman Cuellar is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. As a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition, Congressman Cuellar is dedicated to reducing the nation's deficit by reforming how Congress appropriates federal funds. In 2009, he worked with his Blue Dog colleagues to help pass the landmark Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) legislation to reign-in federal spending and restore the budget surpluses of the 1990's. As Chairman and founder of the bi-partisan House Pro-Trade Caucus, Congressman Cuellar is widely regarded as a national trade expert in Washington D.C. Across Texas, businesses and communities alike applaud his support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. As the largest exporter of goods in the nation, Texas currently grosses more than $100 billion a year by conducting trade with other nations. As the only Texas Democrat to have served on the House Agriculture Committee in the 112th Congress, Congressman Cuellar is a staunch advocate for the 12,000 farms and ranches in the 28th District of Texas. During his third term in Congress he worked closely with the Texas Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to secure drought relief assistance for Texas' farms. In 2008, he also passed an amendment in the Farm Bill to address cattle fever ticks, making it the first federal bill to specifically address this major South Texas concern. In 2009, Congressman Cuellar helped secure $9.9 million for Cattle Fever Tick Research. Since coming to Congress, Congressman Cuellar has been a national advocate for equal opportunity for men and women of all backgrounds and he believes education, family values and a strong work ethic can increase opportunities for his constituents in the 28th District of Texas. He continues to improve education, national security, access to affordable health care and veterans assistance programs as a member of the 113th Congress.
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