EDWARDS TO CONTINUE SERVING IN CONGRESS
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S Representative Chet Edwards (D-Waco) released the following statement today:
“While it is an honor to have been considered for the position of U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, I believe I can make the most difference for veterans, our district and country by continuing to serve in Congress. That is why I have informed President-elect Obama’s transition team that I intend to continue representing the 17th Congressional District of Texas.
I consider it a privilege every single day to work for the people of central and north Texas, and I want to continue working in Congress for jobs and economic development for our district and for better health care and benefits for our nation’s military troops and veterans.
With my seniority in Congress and as Chairman of the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, I believe I can do more for our military troops, our veterans and their families in my present position than I could as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. At the same time I can continue my work to improve roads, economic infrastructure and the quality of life in the 17th District, a district in which I have deep, personal roots.
Over the past two years, by working closely with our nation’s veterans organizations, I have authored and passed the largest increase in veterans’ health care funding in the 77-year history of the Veterans Administration. With our nation at war, this is a critical time for our veterans, and I want to remain in a position to push for budgets in Congress that truly honor their service to country.
My chairmanship of the key subcommittee that funds U.S. military construction worldwide has also allowed me to launch new initiatives to modernize the military health care system and to expand day care services for our military families, many of whom have loved ones deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Continuing these efforts and my commitment to supporting our Army soldiers at Ft. Hood with better training, housing and health care facilities is extremely important to me because of my gratitude for the sacrifices being made by our troops and their families.
I have no doubt that President-elect Obama has a number of well-qualified individuals he is considering for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and I look forward to working closely with the next VA Secretary and Secretary of Defense to strongly support our veterans, our troops and their families.
I am deeply grateful to the citizens of the 17th District of Texas for the honor of representing them in Congress, and I intend to work hard every day, in partnership with them, to make a positive difference for our district, our country and all who have served us in uniform.”