AUSTIN- Texas Leaders and the Federal Government don't always see eye to eye. The last year has seen conflict on several issues.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) announced Wednesday the formation of the House Select Committee on Federal Legislation.
Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) was one of the 15 members appointed to the committee.
The committee will closely monitor significant pending federal legislation with specific emphasis on health care reform efforts.
"Just a slight change to federal Medicaid rules can mean billions of dollars in costs to a state the size of Texas," Kolkhorst said. "People in my area are concerned with federal health care proposals taking over local and state policies. So I'm glad that this committee will exist to protect Texas taxpayers, and to relay our views to Washington about the costs they may be strapping on to our backs."
The committee will also work to improve the exchange of information between Texas and Washington, D.C., by communicating the impact of pending federal legislation to the state economy and citizens.
"Like many Texans, I have serious concerns regarding the impact of federal legislation on the state," said Speaker Straus. "The committee will help the House respond in a fiscally appropriate manner regarding Texas' specific needs and challenges."
Speaker Straus has appointed Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) to chair the committee and Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) to serve as vice chair.
Other committee members include Representatives Dan Branch (R-Dallas), Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Ellen Cohen (D-Houston), Donna Howard (D-Austin), Susan King (R-Abilene),Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), Tommy Merritt (R-Longview), Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin), Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (D-Corpus Christi), Tara Rios Ybarra (D-South Padre Island), and Mark Shelton (R-Fort Worth).