The 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees. District 16 represents most of El Paso County, minus some neighborhoods in the eastern portions of the Lower Valley and East Montana. U.S. representatives get paid $174,000 per year.

Who’s running for this seat?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson, a Republican, did not respond.

Veronica Escobar, 53, a Democrat, is the incumbent in Texas’ 16th Congressional District.

Candidate Questionnaires

Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. Responses have been lightly edited for grammar.

What steps would you support to address current migration issues at the border, both short-term and long-term?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson: No response.

Veronica Escobar: I worked to create and fund civilian positions at CBP processing centers to allow Border Patrol agents to spend more time in the field, while also working with the federal government to reimburse non-profits and local governments for the crucial work they provide in caring for migrants. While President Biden was a candidate, I was part of his Unity Task Force, which created the framework for comprehensive immigration reform. I’ve filed and supported a number of immigration bills and work for additional reform through the appropriations process, as well as through discussions with the White House and Secretary Mayorkas.

International commerce in El Paso is a major economic driver. What policies or programs will you work on to enhance and protect that trade?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson: No response.

Veronica Escobar: I am the only member of Congress from our region to have voted in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and through that I secured $600 million for the Bridge of the Americas. I also chaired a binational infrastructure task force at the request of the administration focused on border infrastructure.

Additionally, I worked to pass the CHIPS Act which will bolster semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. This will lessen our dependence on China, while providing us with an opportunity to partner with Mexico, helping our two countries remain competitive with Asia. Working alongside Mexico to tackle this supply chain issue will be a major economic driver for our region, and we finally have the money to modernize our busy land port of entry.

In light of Roe v. Wade being overturned, what, if anything, should the federal government do about women’s health care issues and rights?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson: No response.

Veronica Escobar: Congress needs to codify women’s reproductive rights into law, which is why I voted for the Women’s Healthcare Protection Act. I trust women to make decisions about their reproductive health with their doctors.

What steps should the federal government take to address climate change?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson: No response.

Veronica Escobar: As a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I’m proud of the $700 billion investment Congress approved through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. Those two bills will help incentivize our transition to a clean energy future and provide resources to both industry and every day Americans to lower those costs. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’ve worked to ensure our military installations reduce their carbon footprint so that the Department of Defense leads the way.

What steps should the federal government take to address inflation?

Irene Armendariz-Jackson: No response.

Veronica Escobar: There is no “on/off” switch for inflation, but the two major drivers of inflation are supply chain issues (which will be eased with the CHIPs Act) and energy costs (which will be eased with the Inflation Reduction Act). But this will take time. Both of these laws will reinvest in American manufacturing so we can make more products here in the United States and expedite our transition to renewable energy while creating American jobs.

Congress should also pass comprehensive immigration reform to address our labor shortage, which would in turn also help combat inflation. Republicans in large part opposed all these solutions and bring none of their own to the negotiating table in Congress.

Read more about this race

Back to Voter Guide