During these challenging times, this week in Congress was made a little better by the arrival in Washington of more than 120 members of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other local chambers. Local business leaders offered their insight and experience to address a wide range of issues of concern to Bexar County. Each year I am pleased to welcome this large local delegation to the Capitol. With the takeover by the Trump Administration, it is particularly important to have reinforcements. We need to voice our shared concerns, not just this week, but every week.
As we inch closer to our Tricentennial, it has been another banner year in the Alamo City. Last year, when I welcomed our neighbors, we could look out my office window and see the Capitol Dome covered in scaffolding with what looked like a giant band aid. Now, the work I see being done is outside my San Antonio office: bright yellow barricades and blue construction fences of the soon to be constructed Frost Tower– another indication of San Antonio progress.
In Washington, each day this year is a little more unbelievable than the day before. Full implementation of the Trump agenda would undermine our successes in Bexar County— I strongly oppose his plan to build a wall, make Texas consumers pay for it by imposing a 20 percent tax on every avocado, auto part, and any other import from Mexico, deport immigrants who have been vital to construction and service industries, repeal NAFTA, deny health insurance coverage to thousands of our neighbors, reduce funding for education and other vital public services, while expanding the national debt. Trump’s bungled immigration ban is not good for America, not good for American businesses, and not good for our economy.
I remain committed to putting our community first. Despite the turmoil in Washington, it remains an exciting time to live and work in San Antonio. This week we discussed small, locally-owned businesses, which drive our economic expansion. We discussed ways we can use local and federal resources to expand opportunities for small business owners.
Access to financing, so that small businesses can expand to become bigger businesses, is vitally important. We must harness resources to leverage every dollar and ensure entrepreneurs have access to information on how to access those dollars. We must do more to provide opportunity for minority, women, veteran and service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. I have supported our local Small Business Development Centers, including UTSA’s International Trade Center, which has previously been honored by the Small Business Administration as a “Center of the Year.” These resources have aided thousands of small businesses throughout our area.
For our college students, I am currently working on a proposal to simplify the application for federal student financial assistance and to expand the federal tax credit that I previously sponsored to better cover the cost of tuition and instructional materials.
Congratulations to Rudy Garza, Ramiro Cavazos, Richard Perez, Dr. Esteban Lopez, Priscilla Camacho and many others for another SA to DC. I look forward to our continued work together. Your opinion matters. Let me hear from you. My email at Lloyd.Doggett@mail.house.gov or visit my office at 217 W. Travis St.