Texas Delegation Works Together to Invest in Border Infrastructure
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) joined Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX), Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in efforts to give states more flexibility in how they use federal transportation funds, allowing them to invest more into border infrastructure. Reps. Hurd, McCaul, and Cuellar introduced H.R. 3181 in the House, and Sen. Cornyn worked to include similar language in the long-term highway bill currently pending before the Senate.
“As the top exporting state in the nation, Texas relies on quality infrastructure along its southern border to help transport more than $100 billion in exported Texas goods to Mexico each year and support hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs. Allowing border states like Texas more flexibility in the long-term planning of border projects will benefit workers and consumers in our state and across the country,” said Sen. Cornyn.
“International trade and commerce is the life-blood for many cities and small towns in my district,” said Hurd, who represents the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, which has more than 820 miles of international border. “Making it easier to safely move goods and services across the Texas-Mexico border will be good for both sides. Putting resources back into the infrastructure that facilitates that movement of goods is a longtime coming and I’m proud to support it.”
“This is an important bill, one that will undoubtedly benefit Laredo and The Rio Grande Valley; as well as border communities across the country. My home town of Laredo is host to the nation’s largest inland port, which services over 12,000 daily commercial truck crossings and 1,500 daily rail crossings. It is imperative that the transportation infrastructure around our nation’s ports and trade centers, such as the Port of Laredo, are in peak condition to insure our economy keeps moving forward,” Rep. Cuellar said.
"Our homeland security starts at our border,” said Rep. McCaul. “By ensuring we are investing in the necessary infrastructure at our borders, we are also keeping our nation safe while continuing to promote American access to the 96% of the world’s consumers that live outside of our country. This legislation promotes security and economic growth, and is especially important for my district which exported $11.5 billion worth of goods and services in 2013. By providing certainty in funding for infrastructure improvements, we will be able to address the problems currently being encountered at the border."
This language will allow border states like Texas to reserve certain federal highway funds for qualified border infrastructure purposes. It provides long-term funding certainty and an avenue for border communities and businesses to secure greater transportation investment in the border region.