Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Mr. Speaker, I have some concerns with the base closure process currently taking place. Under the recommendations, Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, is scheduled to lose all of the F-16s and the 147th Fighter Wing. This would endanger the ability to protect southeast Texas.

The base closure criteria is based upon military and strategic importance, but it also needs to factor in homeland security risk assessments as well. The F-16s at Ellington Field protect Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States.

The city has two major airports. It has the largest medical center in the United States. It is, of course, the home of NASA. It has the Port of Houston, the second largest port in the United States, and two additional ports, Port Arthur and the Port of Beaumont where one-third of the military cargo goes to Iraq, not to mention the petrochemical area and the energy capital of the world.

So, Mr. Speaker, I plan on introducing a resolution in Congress this week that will call on the President to factor in homeland security in the base closure process and disapprove of any recommendation unless the President is convinced that the recommendations will not adversely affect homeland security in the United States. We need to keep the F-16s flying over Houston.