$4.8M going to South Texas clinics to help with COVID-19
by: Sandra Sanchez
McALLEN, TEXAS (Border Report) — U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat from South Texas, announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $4.8 million in funding to four health clinics in South Texas through the CARES Act.
The following clinics will receive these grants as part of $1.3 billion that Congress recently funded for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed March 27:
- The Brownsville Community Health Clinic received $1.14 million.
- Community Action Corporation of South Texas received $867,650
- Su Clinica Familiar received $1.3 million
- Nuestra Clinica del Valle received $1.5 million.
“These funds will be critical in providing our community health centers with much needed support to combat this global pandemic and work to assist impacted patients,” Vela said in a statement. “I understand that Congress will have to do more to get our healthcare workers the equipment and support they need, and the diagnostic testing required to ensure we treat and protect as many South Texans as possible. I know we will get through these difficult times if we continue to listen to our public health experts, stay at home and support and help our community.”
These centers treat many uninsured and Hispanic patients in the Rio Grande. And monies will help support TeleHealth services, as well as on-site medical care.
They are “uninsured” because they are ILLEGAL
everyone who is an AMERICAN is insured either with medicaid, medicare or ssi
Ann Awalt, executive director of Community Action Corporation of South Texas said: “Without additional resources and the unwavering support from Congressman Vela, the critical health needs of South Texans would go unmet in a time of unparalleled need.”
The announcement came a day after Vela disclosed that HHS had given over $250,000 to some South Texas clinics.
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In 2019 he sided with China
House Ag leaders lash out over trade aid, Conaway called ‘racist’
A senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee called its top Republican a racist on Twitter as the normally bipartisan panel was rocked Thursday by feuding over a measure needed to fund farmers’ trade aid payments.
Minutes into a subcommittee hearing, the full committee’s ranking Republican, Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, began chiding House Democrats for considering denying a White House request to replenish the account that the Agriculture Department is using to make the payments.
“It’s one thing for (Chinese President) Xi Jinping to use our farmers and ranchers in rural America as a weapon against President Trump and those trade negotiations, but it is entirely something else to have the powers of this body be using those same good people as leverage simply because you don’t like President Trump,” Conaway said in his opening statement.
The House Democratic leadership ultimately relented, releasing a continuing resolution Wednesday evening that restored the Commodity Credit Corp.’s $30 billion borrowing authority, as the White House requested.
But Conaway, a former chairman of the Ag committee, said Democrats should never have allowed it to be considered in the first place.
“The way the majority has gone about this CR and taking this CCC funding hostage is now using those folks as a weapon,” he added. “Shame on us for allowing that to happen. It should never have happened.”
Peterson sharply defended his caucus’ handling of the issue, and afterward the subcommittee’s chairman, Filemon Vela, D-Texas, launched a broadside on Twitter.
“Our caucus doesn’t need to be lectured by a racist Christian pretender who led the effort to starve America’s poor. Every Democratic member of this committee championed the efforts to protect MFP in this week’s CR negotiations,” Vela’s tweet said.
Vela’s office subsequently issued a statement repeating the tweet and identifying Conaway as the target.
“Conaway was lyin’ in that committee hearing because every single Democratic member in the House Agriculture Committee fought really hard to protect MFP here over the last weekend,” Vela said between afternoon votes.
When asked if the tweet was directed towards Conaway, Vela said “there’s no question about it.”
Conaway hadn’t seen the tweet until reporters showed him.
“A racist Christian, alright,” Conaway sarcastically read aloud. Conaway was then asked if he had any reaction.
“Considering the source, no,” he said, standing by his committee comments.
“All I said was that rural America and production Agriculture has been held hostage or taken as a pawn by Democratic leadership and if that is untrue, I would be happy to have that conversation,” Conaway said.
During the hearing, Peterson said the dispute over CCC spending had roots in the way that Republicans responded to the way that then-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack used the program for disaster payments in 2010.
After they later took control of the House, Republicans put a provision in successive appropriations bills restricting USDA’s use of the CCC authority. The restriction wasn’t lifted until 2018, when the White House was ramping up the trade war with China.
“This was put in place by the Republican Party,” Peterson said, referring to the GOP-backed restriction on CCC.
“It was put in place, this restriction, because at that time, the Republicans thought Secretary (Tom) Vilsack was using the CCC to help Blanche Lincoln, who at the time was chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in her reelection because there was a disaster in Arkansas.”
He went on, “So you guys put it in place,” Peterson barked back. “It wasn’t a single member on this committee — the Ag Committee — who had anything to do with this. Period.”
Conaway argued that the Republican restriction was different from what Democrats were considering this year because the GOP version didn’t affect the payments that had been made in 2010.
Story was updated at 3:42 p.m. EDT
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