September 25, 2020  ImageImageImage

Dear Friend,


In Remembrance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country that will be felt for generations. She was a giant of legal doctrine, an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and a relentless voice in pursuit of the highest American ideals. 

I first met Justice Ginsburg in the summer of 1980 at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where she would be confirmed to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That same summer, in that same hearing, my father, Filemon Vela Sr., was awaiting his own confirmation to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. As an 18-year-old, I was inspired by her tremendous passion and unwavering commitment to causes that drove her to serve on the bench of our nation’s highest court. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work, through her landmark opinions and unforgettable dissents, changed America for the better. She was a trailblazer who will be remembered as one of our country’s greatest justices in modern American history.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Ginsburg family and their loved ones during this difficult time. May her memory and legacy drive the next generation of jurisprudence warriors.



The Legislative Roundup

This week, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives in successfully passing a clean and bipartisan Continuing Resolution that funds our government through December 11th, and addresses the needs of the American people. 

By working together with my colleagues across the aisle, we have averted a catastrophic shutdown in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes and economic downturn. I am hopeful that we can continue to work together to deliver programs and policies to help families, health care workers, businesses and other industries that continue to feel the impact of  the COVID-19 crisis.

The Continuing Resolution includes provisions to: 

  • - Add nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for hungry schoolchildren and     families;
    - Extend key flexibility for states to lower administrative requirements on SNAP for families in          the middle of this crisis; and,
  • - Secure Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funding and an extension of Pandemic                    Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)



Judge Rules Census Count to Continue until October 31st

Thanks to a recent court ruling, Texans now have until October 31, 2020 to complete the 2020 Census. 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all communities, and this important decision by the courts ensures that families have more time to complete the census so that we have a more fair and accurate count.  Unfortunately, the current 2020 Census response rate for TX34, is less than 50%. If more people in our community do not complete the Census we will lose out on federal funding for economic development, childcare, schools, hospitals, roads, governmental representation, public works, and many other vital community services and resources.

As a reminder, the Constitution mandates that every person living in the U.S. must be counted through the Census every ten years, regardless of citizenship status. 

The #2020Census is at risk and many communities like ours may be undercounted. Visit to complete your 2020 Census today to ensure that we have an accurate count and that our communities receive the proper amount of funds and resources.



Serving Those Who Served: Resources for Veterans

As a Member of Congress, it is an honor to be able to represent the veterans of South Texas. In my congressional office, my staff is always available to assist veterans with navigating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  

See below for some resources available to help support veterans and their families. You may also visit my website for additional resources. 

  • - The Endeavors Veteran Wellness Center (VWC) is offering virtual mental health counseling,         group therapy and peer support and wellness services.
    - The Military Veteran Peer Center in Brownsville is available to assist all veterans and their           families with a variety of services including financial assistance, support groups, and                   individual counseling sessions.
    - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if offering free flu shots to ever veteran that is                 enrolled in the VA health care system.



Are You Registered to Vote?

Every election, Americans have the opportunity to remake our government into one that better reflects their views and needs. Don’t let that opportunity - and your right to vote - go to waste.  Make sure to let your voice be heard by participating in the upcoming election.

The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020. Whether you are planning to vote by mail or in person, visit before the deadline to ensure that you are ready to vote on election day!



Get Your Flu Shot!

As we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to get your annual flu shot. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine in September or October - so now is the perfect time. Use the resource linked here to find a vaccination site near you. 

The flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses with very similar symptoms. It is highly likely that the flu and COVID-19 will both be spreading, and an individual can have both illnesses at the same time. With that information in mind, I encourage you to get your flu shot and continue practicing social distancing to mitigate the likelihood of you and those around you contracting one of these illnesses. For more information on the flu or COVID-19 please click here.




Filemon Vela
Member of Congress

307 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-9901


800 N. Expwy
77-83 Suite 9
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 544-8352

500 East Main St.
Alice, TX 78332
(361) 230-9776
301 West Railroad
Weslaco, TX 78596
(956) 520-8273
1390 W. Expwy 83
San Benito, TX 78586
(956) 276-4497