A San Antonio resident and U.S. Navy veteran, Gonzales is seeking his second term. He sits on the House appropriations committee.
Hear from the candidate
What should Congress be doing to rein in inflation and/or stabilize/boost the economy?
Inflation is hurting millions of Texans, particularly the poor and the middle class. They are seeing their real wages decline, while their savings and retirement accounts get crushed. This is especially true in many low-income communities across TX-23. Through my position on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, I have secured billions for initiatives such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program and HOME Investment Partnerships to create affordable housing for low-income families. We need to rein in the reckless spending that has been the main catalyst for inflation. We also need to end the attacks on the Texas oil and gas industries. Texas has the best fossil fuel workers in the world, and if the government gets out of their way then they will lead the way as prices come down at the pump and utility bills fall. Another component is doing away with a recently passed provision that makes it more expensive to manufacture goods in the United States — this is bad for jobs and for prices. Furthermore, we need to ease particular regulations that are making it more expensive for producers and job creators to do what they do best. The other component of this is to create economic opportunity right here in TX-23. I have done that in my first term by helping secure funding for medical facilities, higher education, and infrastructure. Finally, military installations in San Antonio, Del Rio and El Paso are vital to the quality of life in TX-23. I have fought hard to strengthen these institutions.
What should Congress be doing to reform immigration laws?
I have authored multiple pieces of legislation to address the crisis at our southern border. This includes joining with Democrat Henry Cuellar (TX-28) to introduce the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act in the House, which has a companion bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. One of the first places we should start is with adding more technology. The horrific incident in which over 50 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck here in San Antonio — that was in TX-23. Technology could have prevented this tragic loss of life. We also need to add more immigration judges so asylum cases can be adjudicated in days rather than years. Migrants who do not qualify for asylum should be returned to their country of origin. Furthermore, we have to get Border Patrol agents out of the processing centers and back into the field where they can focus on securing the border instead of doing paperwork. It is important for America to fix our broken legal immigration system. The American Dream doesn’t have to start in America. Millions of people have come to this country legally to create a better life. That’s a truly special thing and is one of the many reasons the United States is so unique. Furthermore, I speak with farmers, ranchers, and business owners across TX-23 constantly. So many are in need of workers. Congress must come together in a bipartisan way to allow for an increase in work visas.
Do you believe Congress should take action to legalize abortion?
The Supreme Court decision sent the issue of abortion back to the states. It is up to the voters in each individual state on how they want to handle the issue moving forward.
What do you consider the top challenge facing our nation and how would you address it?
The top challenges facing our nation are rising prices, a stagnant economy and the ongoing chaos at our southern border. Another major challenge facing our nation is the mental health crisis. I helped pass bipartisan legislation that delivers $11 billion in mental health funding. I am now working to bring as many of those dollars as possible home to Texas. Additionally, I introduced the UNITED Act to further tackle the issue. This proposed legislation provides urgently needed funding to expand mental health services, improve crisis response and promote telehealth access for Texans.
We live in a time of deep polarization. If elected, how do you see your responsibility to represent all your constituents, even those who didn’t vote for you?
For far too long, this district has been abandoned by Washington. I know what that feeling is like. At 2 months old, my father abandoned me. I will never abandon this district. That means showing up and delivering. I served 20 years in the Navy and I love to fight. This district deserves a representative with a servant’s heart who will fight tooth and nail, who will show up in good times and bad, and deliver with action not just talk. That is exactly what I have done in my first term and that is what I will continue to do. In just a short time in office, I have secured $100 million in community project funding for TX-23. It’s about improving the lives of my constituents regardless of who they voted for.