The new representative of the 34th District of Texas toured the facilities at the Community Action Health Center at 301 S. Hillside Drive after talking briefly to a crowd of more than 50.
Vela defended a number of federal programs such as Head Start and community health centers.
“You would be surprised how much good these programs do,” the Democrat said.
The congressman said that community health programs are a good example of how a service can assist individuals who cannot afford traditional health insurance. He also defended the care provided for veterans.
“A lot of problems can be solved by just getting together,” Vela told those gathered in the hallway at the Doctors Building.
Vela said the U.S. Senate is expected to have its version of immigration reform completed in the near future. He said that reform is a top priority of federal lawmakers.
He said South Texas lawmakers support immigration reform, but he reminded those at the gathering that “there are 435 of us.”
“Even if we can save one veteran, it will be worth the effort,” Vela said.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.