When the going gets tough...the tough turn to Joaquin Castro. 1200 WOAI news reports that the freshman San Antonio Congressman and brother of the mayor is emerging as one of the leading voices in favor of the troubled Obamacare system, and he is taking center stage in the White House effort to save the program. FULL STORY

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says his premiums will double and his deductible will triple under the Affordable Care Act. That`s true, but it is misleading to compare Boehner with the "many Americans seeing their costs go up," as his spokesman Brendan Buck has put it. Boehner`s experience with the Affordable Care Act is extremely atypical compared to most Americans. His rates — which include the cost of insuring his wife — are doubling because of the couple`s age and high income, and a special provision in the law that forced members of Congress out of their employer-sponsored plans…Consider Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas. We reached out to Castro to see how his experience on the exchange stacked up to Boehner`s. Castro selected the same plan as Boehner. But Castro — who is 25 years younger than Boehner — will pay about half of what he is now paying. Castro`s new plan has a higher deductible, but he could have selected a plan with no deductible and still saved money. FULL STORY

With options fast disappearing for an immigration overhaul this year, Democrats demanded Wednesday that Speaker John Boehner allow a vote on Democrat-backed legislation that provides a path to citizenship. Boehner announced earlier today that he won’t allow any such vote, leaving Democrats frustrated…“We will push as hard as we can in 2013, but if it doesn’t happen we’ll push even harder in 2014,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, at a news conference after Boehner’s announcement. He asserted that many Republicans would support the bill if not for fear of inviting a primary challenge.“Many of them have a good heart on this issue but are lacking the political will to act on that good will, and I’m hoping they will change course,” he said. FULL STORY

At the start of his 21-hour anti-Obamacare stand from the Senate floor, Ted Cruz declared that he spoke for all Texans and all Americans: “I rise today in opposition to Obamacare. I rise today in an effort to speak for 26 million Texans and for 300 million Americans.” But Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, wants to know: what about the millions of uninsured Texans? “It was really hard to hear Ted speak about representing 26 million Texans when he was giving that talk,” Castro said on Morning Joe Friday. ”‘Cause there are millions and millions of Texans who are without healthcare coverage and disagree with this point of view and who also are looking forward to the chance to get healthcare coverage.” FULL STORY

Out of the Shadows
(San Antonio Magazine)

Long known as the Castro twin who is not mayor, Joaquin is generating buzz and building a record of his own as a freshman member of Congress FULL STORY

San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro will be one of a few select members of Congress who will share a stage with President Barack Obama when he marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Other featured speakers at the event include former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Castro, D-San Antonio, will be the only Latino and only Texas lawmaker who will deliver remarks on the civil rights struggle during the “Let Freedom Ring” commemorative ceremony.“I am honored and humbled to get to address this historic occasion,” Castro said. “My generation is grateful to the civil rights pioneers who stood on these steps 50 years ago.” FULL STORY

In Washington, much of the Democratic Party is experiencing a “Back to the Future” moment, with a pair of white politicians pushing 70 — Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden — dominating the early politics of 2016. Out in the states, it’s another story. There, the rank and file of the Democratic coalition has spent 2013 getting to know a different, fresher pair of faces for the party: Joaquin and Julian Castro. FULL STORY

The Justice Department’s action today to force Texas to abide by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act won applause from Democrats — but left Republicans who run the state and dominate the congressional delegation furious. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, said Attorney General Eric Holder was correct to try to block Texas from unilaterally implementing its 2011 Voter ID law and its recently ratified congressional and legislative redistricting maps. FULL STORY