Your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce was honored to host Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) for an exclusive roundtable event focused on our city’s defense contracting industry last week. As you may know, Congressman Cuellar has been active in numerous committees and is the only Democrat appointed to the powerful House Committee on Appropriations from Region 6, which consists of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. He was appointed to the Defense Subcommittee and is the 2nd ranking member on the Homeland Security Subcommittee. He has been an advocate for our nation to be a leader in innovation and technology while being good stewards of tax dollars, as well as ensuring our country remains secure and safe.
Our Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez opened the discussion by highlighting the immense value that our military and defense contracting industries bring to the city, as well as Congressman Cuellar’s long history of advocating for Texas through improvements in education, national security, access to affordable health care, and veterans assistance programs.
The event, which included 15 companies representing both local and national entities, was an open dialogue with candid feedback about challenges and impediments to working within the defense contracting industry and included detailed information related to the House Appropriations Committee’s FY 2018 Defense Bill. Congressman Cuellar emphasized his support and the need to provide resources for preparing our forces to fight ongoing threats, as well as funding for personnel requirements, operational needs, purchasing new equipment, obtaining and collecting intelligence, and maintaining and updating facilities and equipment.
The roundtable was an excellent opportunity for our members to spend quality time with Congressman Cuellar and relay best practices and forward specialized insight into the Congressman’s new role within the Defense Subcommittee. The Subcommittee reviews funding for the Department of Defense, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, and oversees the largest component of federal discretionary spending by providing funding for troops, weapons programs, and military conflicts abroad.
We look forward to continuing the dialogue into the future to make improvements to the process of defense contracting and to better prepare our armed forces for many years to come.