November 5, 2020  ImageImageImage

Dear Friend,


In Remembrance of Commander Luis Lucio

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Commander Luis Lucio and wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends as they mourn his loss and reflect upon his remarkable life. 

Commander Lucio, a lifelong Brownsville native, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps shortly after graduating from Brownsville High School. He was known for his bravery, and was proud to protect his family and fight for our nation’s democratic values. 

Commander Lucio’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps helped preserve the security of  his community and his country. He advocated for his fellow veterans and worked tirelessly to ensure they received their hard-earned benefits. His dedication led to the establishment of the largest Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in the area and has become the cornerstone of the veteran community in Brownsville.

In addition to advocating for Texas veterans, Commander Lucio was also a successful businessman, devoted husband, loving father, and loyal friend. He bestowed his protective and compassionate nature on all who knew him.  As we honor the life and legacy of “The Commander,” may we be comforted by the community’s outpouring of love for him. His selfless spirit and legacy of service will live on through all those who knew him.



Kleberg County Awarded $175k USDA Grant

I am pleased to announce that Kleberg County has been awarded a $175k Rural Business Development Grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This federal grant will allow the county to purchase basic furnishing and essential equipment for the Kleberg Business Incubator.  The incubator will offer support to businesses from Brooks, Kennedy, Kleberg and Jim Wells counties. 

Working together with community leaders, our federal-local partnership allowed us to secure additional development grant funding, which builds on the $4.3 million EDA grant awarded last year.  I commend County Judge Rudy Madrid and his staff for expanding the services offered at the Kleberg Regional Public Safety Training Center and Emergency Command Center.  I look forward to seeing how businesses in Kleberg County and surrounding South Texas communities benefit from this project.



The John Lewis Taxpayer Protections Act

Last week, I introduced the John Lewis Taxpayer Protection Act. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce taxpayer burdens and enhance taxpayer protections. 

John Lewis was a champion for all Americans to have an equal opportunity at realizing the American dream. As a member of the Way and Means Committee and Chairman of the Oversight Committee, John worked in a bi-partisan manner to reduce the tax burden on low income families and protect retirement funds earned by hard working Americans.  

I introduced the John Lewis Taxpayer Protection Act to honor John’s legacy and continue to move America toward the path he envisioned.  This bill will enable those who can’t pay their taxes in a lump sum to spread their payment across multiple installments without penalty.  It will also ensure that the IRS cannot place levies upon a taxpayer’s retirement funds.  America needs a tax code that is flexible enough to address the many situations that its citizens face. Making these basic changes will ensure that American families have the flexibility and assistance they need, especially at a time when we’ve seen so many financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Shop for Affordable Health Insurance During Open Enrollment

Enrollment for health insurance coverage is now open until December 15th, and I’d like to encourage everyone to visit to shop for health insurance plans for individuals and families for coverage beginning in 2021. Even individuals currently covered can use the website to compare options for 2021.

During open enrollment, individuals and families have the opportunity to shop for quality and affordable health insurance through the health insurance marketplace in Texas. Making sure you and your family have insurance can protect against unexpected accidents or illness, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free help is available during the open enrollment period. Individuals with questions about signing up for health insurance or changing their existing plan can speak with a trained professional by calling 1-800-318-2596, or locate local in-person assistance at




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