Congressman Pete Gallego Discusses Hot Topics in West Texas With NewsWest 9

Congressman Pete Gallego Discusses Hot Topics in West Texas With NewsWest 9

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - From vet healthcare, to international trade, to the border crisis. They're all hot button issues in the Basin.

Congressman Pete Gallego talked to NewsWest 9 on Wednesday about the progress and hurdles we're facing.

Friday, August 22 marked the reopening of the V.A. Clinic in Fort Stockton, removing the sign on the front door saying 'Will reopen in late September'.

"That was pretty offensive to me because they did not have the authority to do that. They never told anybody they were doing that. They didn't even call people and tell people that, 'hey, don't go to your appointment because we're not there,'" Pete Gallego, Congressman for the 23rd District of Texas, said.

Residents from Presidio and Alpine, for example, were left with few choices: Get slapped with a bill from a local care provider or drive the longer distance to the V.A. Clinic in Big Spring.

With the doors back open, Congressman Gallego is hoping its V.A. health care will go past city limits.

"Hopefully, they'll also be able to do some home visits so they won't always have to go to the clinic in Fort Stockton," Gallego said.

Another hot topic, international trade.

"Presidio has one of the few rail crossings. There's not that many in Texas that are international rail crossings, but one of them is in Presidio," Gallego said.

An allusion to a possible compromise in light of heavy debate over La Entrada al Pacífico, the truck route running through Alpine into Mexico.

"One of the things that, Alpine for example, objects to, is the numbers of trucks driving through this area and the potholes. You see the energy boom here and you see how much it's changed the way of life because of all the traffic," Gallego said.

The invite to House Speaker John Boehner to the border still awaits a response.

"Frankly, I think it's important that he see it with his own eyes so that everything people tell him, everything that he reads, all those kids of things, they will fall into perspective if you go and you can see it with your own eyes and you can make up your own mind," Gallego said.

A particular spot on the border hasn't been confirmed yet for Boehner's potential visit.

If you'd like to reach out to Pete Gallego and his team with any questions or concerns, visit