Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz announced Saturday his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Representative in the U.S. Congress, a position Ortiz has held since 1983. He is also the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on Military Readiness and Military Construction. He also serves on the House Resources Committee, chairs the House Border Caucus, and is dean of the Texas delegation and dean of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"The nation we all love has made remarkable progress this year on the domestic front…but our national security remains in a crisis," Ortiz said. "The Democratic Congress this country elected in 2006 faced monumental challenges on two fronts: economic security and national security. We've raised the minimum wage for middle class working families…after 10 years of foot-dragging by the Republicans. Raising the minimum wage was critical to fighting for the forgotten middle class. Since 2000, prices of education, gasoline and healthcare all significantly outpaced inflation, crushing family budgets. This makes a real difference for South Texans.

"The Childrens' Health insurance bill that is now before the president for signature into law illustrates the difference between how this Congress writes legislation and how the Republican Congress wrote bills; our bill favors children in working families and honors seniors…the Republican bill favored big insurance companies," Ortiz said. "This bi-partisan bill will provide healthcare to 120,000 kids in Texas. It reverses the Republican drive to privatize Medicare; and it strengthens Medicare that was so badly traumatized by the last Congress.

"We made it easier to go to college by reducing excessive federal subsidies paid to lenders in the college loan industry by $20.9 billion in a bill that also includes $750 million in federal budget deficit reduction," Ortiz continued. "Educating our children and our workforce of tomorrow is the single silver bullet that can improve the lives of Americans, improve our economy, and strengthen our nation."

"What remains to be fixed are the components of our national security - right now our military is on the verge of being broken," Ortiz said. "Our soldiers are dying out there in two separate wars…this Congress has been able to begin to improve the readiness of our military that was so badly damaged by the war in Iraq. While Democrats were clearly elected to begin to move our troops away from Iraq in an orderly and responsible re-deployment - and back to the hunt for al Qaeda and bin Laden, we do not have a veto-proof majority. This is what keeps me up at night."