In The News

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April 18, 2023

Rep. Joaquin Castro passes bills in Congress 1,500 miles away even as he battles cancer

by Jeremy Wallace

Even as U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro recovers from surgery to remove tumors in his gastrointestinal tract, the San Antonio Democrat was still able to pass legislation in Congress thanks to a little bipartisan love on Capitol Hill. Yes, bipartisanship is rare in D.C. but it still lurks in the shadows. Castro underwent surgery at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center on Feb. 27 and is hoping to be back to work soon. "I'm especially grateful to my family for being so supportive and understanding," … Continue Reading

April 06, 2023

One on One: Castro seeking federal contracting equity and transparency

by Scott Bailey

Federal officials have sought to address a lack of diversity in government contracting, but one Congressman with deep San Antonio roots insists more must be done to narrow disparities and expand participation. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, is leading a group of six members of Congress that is introducing the Expanding Opportunities for Diverse Entrepreneurs Act, legislation that would expand the reach of the Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise … Continue Reading

April 06, 2023

Rep. Joaquin Castro files bipartisan bill to aid veterans exposed to toxins in Panama

by Benjamin Wermund, Washington Bureau

Congress passed legislation last year expanding health care to veterans exposed to toxic chemicals from burn pits when they were deployed overseas, offering long-awaited help for likely tens of thousands of Texans battling health issues including cancer. Now, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat who was a leader in that effort, wants Congress to go further and expand care for veterans who who were exposed to toxic herbicides, including Agent Orange, while serving in the Panama … Continue Reading

March 16, 2023

Texas Democrats ask U.S. government to prioritize union workplaces for clean energy funds

by Josh Peck

The Texas Democratic congressional delegation, led by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, submitted a letter last week that called on the U.S. Department of Energy to prioritize federal funds for hydrogen energy development for union businesses. The federal government is spending billions of dollars on the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program, which, the letter said, will involve hydrogen production, delivery, processing, storage, and end-use and create jobs. Businesses who want a piece of the funding … Continue Reading

March 07, 2023

Department of Defense 'dragging its feet' on waiving civilian medical bills, Joaquin Castro says

by Benjamin Wermund , Washington Bureau

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren say the Department of Defense is "dragging its feet" on orders from Congress to waive debt incurred by patients receiving medical treatment at military hospitals, most of whom are treated at San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center. Some patients have been hit by bills totaling tens of thousands of dollars by the hospital, which provides emergency medical care to about 5,100 civilians a year, almost half of all civilians treated at … Continue Reading

March 02, 2023

Ayala: Congressman Castro’s stop at Centro Cultural Aztlán underscored broader drive for inclusion

by Elaine Ayala

The artists gathered in Centro Cultural Aztlán last week were part of its 46th annual Segundo de Febrero exhibit, an event that commemorated the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It ended the U.S.-Mexican War but was subsequently broken, like other treaties the country failed to keep to its indigenous populations. The war, the treaty, the takeover of land led to so many losses for Mexican Americans, the bicultural population that arose from these … Continue Reading

February 17, 2023

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro Says Publishers Are Failing Latino Stories

by Joaquin Castro

Last November, hundreds of workers at HarperCollins went on strike to protest low wages and racial inequity at their employer, one of the nation's largest publishers. As their strike reaches a tentative end, HarperCollins workers have forced the publishing industry to reckon with practices that have long made it one of the least diverse fields in media. Since the early days of our republic, publishers have helped shape the national narrative. Today, publishers are gatekeepers, selecting the … Continue Reading

February 15, 2023

Joaquin Castro announces nearly $1M in federal funding for domestic violence prevention programs in SA

by Rebecca Salinas

Congressman Joaquin Castro and local leaders on Wednesday announced new federal funding to address domestic violence in San Antonio. In a news release, Castro's office said he secured $956,662 for two abuse prevention programs in San Antonio. "... Our city has grappled with the alarming crisis of domestic violence that unfortunately was only exasperated by the pandemic," Castro said at a press conference. "We're committed to mobilizing all available resources to break the cycle of violence … Continue Reading

January 05, 2023

St. Mary’s University gets $5.5M federal boost for under-construction Innovation Center

by Tracy Idell Hamilton

St. Mary's University, the 170-year-old Catholic liberal arts college on the city's West Side, announced Thursday it will receive $5.5 million in federal funding to help complete its Blank Sheppard Innovation Center. Construction on the three-story center, which broke ground in October last year, is expected to be complete in 2024 and will support advanced manufacturing, engineering and computing instruction. The third floor will be dedicated to a planned nursing program. The money, which … Continue Reading

December 06, 2022

Congressman Joaquin Castro on ‘Highlighting Latin Music Brilliance’ in National Recording Registry

by Isabela Raygoza

In 1983, as the world transitioned away from the disco fever of the '70s and into the radical era of MTV in the U.S., one song gave top 40 a particular new injection of energy. That song was "Flashdance…What a Feeling" by Irene Cara (who recently passed away on November 25), the Billboard Hot 100-topping theme to unlikely blockbuster Flashdance, marking a defining moment for Gen X'ers and beyond. Cara's classic dance cut is one of dozens of Latin music works nominated to the Library of … Continue Reading

December 02, 2022

Bill filed in Congress would erase medical debt, surprise bills for civilian BAMC patients

by Jaie Avila

Thousands of Bexar County families could soon get relief from crushing medical debt thanks to legislation just filed in congress. It would cancel surprise medical bills from Brooke Army Medical Center. In addition to being a government military hospital, BAMC is a trauma center, and many civilians are rushed there for emergencies. Often, they end up with tens of thousands of dollars in charges and if their insurance company fails to pay the bill in-full, the federal government takes money … Continue Reading

November 15, 2022

Rep. Castro urges Congress to make DACA permanent during lame duck session

by Raquel Torres

The clock is ticking for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is at risk of being declared illegal if Congress doesn't pass legislation to save it, said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) on Tuesday. Castro gathered San Antonio business leaders and others for a virtual press conference to urge Congress to use the post-election period to pass legislation that provides permanent relief to DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers. "Today, [Dreamers are] small … Continue Reading

November 10, 2022

Joaquin Castro holds virtual press conference with student journalists

by Chemeckia Caddell

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro discussed mental health, free college, gun control and more on Nov. 3 at a virtual press conference he held for student journalists from all over San Antonio. Castro, a Democrat who represents the 20th Congressional District in San Antonio, is serving his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and is up for re-election. Approximately 25 high school and college students, including a representative from The Mesquite at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, … Continue Reading

October 21, 2022

Democratic lawmakers ask State Department to review whether state abortion laws comply with human rights commitments

by Kylie Atwood

Two Democratic members of Congress are asking the State Department's top lawyer to remind state and local governments of their human rights commitments and to review how state laws pertaining to abortion access "comply with international human rights and treaty obligations," according to a letter reviewed by CNN. "In particular, we ask that the State Department confirm U.S. support for and understanding of international human rights protections for abortion to the relevant UN bodies, … Continue Reading

October 13, 2022

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, Latino groups warn about rampant misinformation targeting Spanish speakers ahead of the elections

by Robert Downen

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has joined a coalition of Latino organizations in their calls for social media platforms to do more to combat dangerous conspiracies and electoral misinformation aimed at Spanish-speaking communities. The group, named the Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition, says that Spanish speakers are particularly vulnerable because of their heavy use of platforms such as YouTube and WhatsApp, where disinformation on voting has spread in the leadup to the … Continue Reading

September 21, 2022

Colleges would be required to be more transparent about transfer rules under new bill from U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro

by Kate McGee

Colleges and universities would have to be more forthcoming about their student transfer requirements under a new measure put before Congress on Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. The goal, Castro says, is to help students wishing to transfer schools from losing college credit they have already earned. Castro's measure, the Transparency for Transfer Students Act, would require two- and four-year schools to post financial aid information and transfer deadlines on their websites, as well … Continue Reading

July 08, 2022

Joaquin Castro to DHS: Don’t deport survivors of immigrant trailer disaster

by Ricardo Delgado

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and several fellow members of Congress urged the Department of Homeland Security to take steps to protect survivors of the human-smuggling tragedy in San Antonio's Southwest Side, which left 53 dead. In a letter made public by a tweet from his official Twitter account, the San Antonio Democrat urged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to "exercise prosecutorial discretion" by not deporting or detaining survivors. He also called for expediting humanitarian … Continue Reading

June 28, 2022

Texas congressional Democrats call on Attorney General Ken Paxton to release Uvalde shooting records

by Zach Despart

Nine Democratic members of the U.S. House from Texas on Tuesday called on Attorney General Ken Paxton to order the release of government records related to the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde that local officials are attempting to withhold. In a letter, the group said that authorizing the release of records would help the families of victims heal by revealing the full truth about what happened at Robb Elementary School that day. They also said disclosure was important because officials have … Continue Reading

June 16, 2022

Representatives introduce legislation to address past wrongdoings in ‘Lavender Scare’

by Brooke Migdon

Three Democratic representatives this week re-introduced legislation to address past and present issues faced by LGBTQ+ government employees and U.S. diplomats. The Lavender Offense Victim Exoneration (LOVE) Act, introduced Tuesday by Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), David Cicilline (D-Calif.) and Dina Titus (D-Nev.), would "correct historic injustices" by reviewing the dismissal of State Department employees who were fired during the Cold War because of their sexual orientation. The … Continue Reading

May 26, 2022

Joaquin Castro calls for FBI investigation into law enforcement response to Uvalde shooting

by Madlin Mekelburg

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, on Thursday called for a federal investigation into the law enforcement response to the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, citing inconsistent reports from state officials about what exactly transpired. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Castro said state officials are providing conflicting accounts of the Tuesday shooting that are "at odds with those provided by witnesses." "The people of Uvalde, of Texas, and of the … Continue Reading

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