Joint Statement from Congresswoman Escobar and the El Paso State Legislative Delegation
Washington, D.C., October 19, 2021
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and members of the El Paso State Legislative Delegation issued a statement on the new congressional district maps.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and members of the El Paso State Legislative Delegation issued the following statement on the new congressional district maps, Senate Bill 6:
“After four weeks of fighting tirelessly against the Republican effort to remove Fort Bliss and El Paso International Airport from El Paso-based Congressional District 16 (TX-16) we are pleased to announce that while part of Fort Bliss will be represented by Congressional District 23 (TX-23), a successful amendment by Representative Moody has moved Fort Bliss’s major assets (including William Beaumont and the First Armored Division Headquarters) as well as the El Paso International Airport back into TX-16.
“The attempt to carve those landmarks out of our community was a direct threat to our economic future for the next decade, and preventing a disastrous outcome took a unified effort by El Paso that we are very proud of. The new boundary also brings major parts of the Ysleta del Sur Indian Reservation, including the Ysleta Mission, Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, the Tribal Administration Building, and the Ysleta del Sur Cultural Center into TX-16.
“Fort Bliss is a part of the fabric of El Paso and shares the same concerns, needs, and goals as the rest of the community. Between servicemembers and their families, 37,000 people on Fort Bliss are contributing to our community and enriching our culture; their children are educated at our schools, and they contribute to our local economy significantly.
“El Paso taxpayers have invested billions of local dollars into infrastructure projects that build on the mission of the base. The community has supported veterans as they transition into civilian life and welcomed military families while they call El Paso home. The airport, for its part, is called El Paso International Airport because it is city-funded, overseen by our local City Council, and began as El Paso Municipal Airport.
“El Paso, Fort Bliss, and the airport’s economic interests and welfare are so tightly intertwined that removing them from TX-16 would dilute the representation of El Paso as a whole and put our economic and community interests at grave risk in the event of another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).
“Our assets are represented effectively by our current Congresswoman. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and has engaged with Army and Fort Bliss leadership as well as the Congressional committees of jurisdiction to advocate for the priorities of Fort Bliss and its servicemembers. Trading a Congresswoman who lives 5 miles away for a Congressman who lives over 550 miles away and represents multiple military installations deprives El Pasoans of fair representation and dedicated advocacy.
“Although the final maps remain flawed and will impact our community for the next decade, the amendment our state delegation secured prevented disaster for El Paso. We are grateful to all who raised their voices in opposition to the Republican efforts and will remain vigilant as we continue to protect our home.”