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(4/6/2004) Barton touts Wohlgemuth for Homeland Security Committee

For Immediate Release
For More Information Contact:
Todd Smith (512) 658-9699
Gina Hollenbeck (979) 224-2951

College Station, TX– Today, U.S. Congressman Joe Barton, the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee committed to assist State Representative and CD 17 U.S. Congressional frontrunner, Arlene Wohlgemuth, in obtaining a seat on the important Homeland Security Committee in the United States House of Representatives. Barton serves as dean of the Texas Congressional Delegation and is involved in the assignment of members to committees. Most recently, he was extremely influential in promoting legislation for the establishment of Homeland Security Research Centers (HSRCs) at our nation’s leading research institutions, including Texas A&M University.

“I wrote my Homeland Security Research Center legislation with Texas A & M University in mind,” said Congressman Barton. “The defense of our homeland is a top priority for Arlene Wohlgemuth, as it should be for all Americans. As Dean of the Texas Delegation, I will be strongly recommending that Arlene be appointed to serve on the Homeland Security Committee once she is elected to Congress and I urge everyone who is interested in seeing this center located in Texas, to support her in the Republican Primary run-off and again in the General Election so that they have their strongest and most effective advocate on the case,” Barton concluded.

“Homeland security is by far the most important role for our federal government,” said Wohlgemuth. “I am honored in Chairman Barton’s confidence in my ability and recognition of Homeland Security as an issue for Congressional District 17. Our district has three universities and two nuclear programs not to mention the Texas home of the President of the United States. It’s vital that our area have influence on this issue”

Wohlgemuth and Barton were briefed on the homeland security programs and measures in the Brazos Valley. Neville Clarke, Director of the Integrated Center for Homeland Security, highlighted Texas A&M’s proposal for a HSRC, citing A&M’s expertise in agriculture and science as compelling evidence that A&M was among the most desirable locations for a HSRC. Tom Wilkerson, the Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Council of Government, reviewed the Brazos County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which trains civil volunteers to work with first responders in the event of a disaster. The CERT program in Brazos County is one of the few operational CERTs in the state of Texas, and serves as a model program across the nation.

Bryan/College Station’s emergency response is among the best in the nation,” Wohlgemuth said. “I admire the efforts that have been made by those involved in this program, and will promote the development of programs like CERT in communities across the district, state and nation.”
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