House Passes FY25 Appropriations Bill with Provision to Withhold U.S. Funding to Mexico Over Water Payment Noncompliance

Legislation that includes language to withhold U.S. funding to Mexico until it meets its legally obligated water payments to the U.S. passed the House on Friday, underscoring the urgent need for action. The legislation passed a day after Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz (TX-15) led a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture urging faster relief payments to sugar growers who lost their livelihoods due to Mexico’s lack of water deliveries.

The FY25 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill passed Friday. It included language that Rep. De La Cruz helped secure to withhold funds from Mexico until the U.S. and Mexico have entered into an agreement to balance the deficit of water deliveries to the U.S. by Mexico per the terms of the 1944 Water Treaty. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. The State Department has failed to secure meaningful progress with Mexico’s government on delivering water guaranteed to South Texas under the 1944 water treaty between the two nations, necessitating the inclusion of this language in the appropriations bill.

“I thank my colleagues in the Texas delegation for working together across party lines to secure this vital language,” De La Cruz said. “With legislation passed that withholds funding from our southern neighbors, they will now see how serious we are about receiving our guaranteed payments. The longer they hold out, the worse the situation is for farmers and ranchers who need that water to produce food that feeds America. The sugar industry in Texas is no longer in existence, and the next casualty will be the citrus industry. This bill holds Mexico accountable, and I hope it will push its leaders to do the right thing.”

The appropriations bill passed the day after De La Cruz led a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking that Emergency Relief Program (ERP) funds for calendar year 2022 be paid as soon as possible to eligible growers. This would be the second payment made under the program.

“Despite having no sugarcane crop to make into sugar and sell, the RGVSG (Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers) through its cooperative farmer members must continue to pay expenses associated with the sugar mill as the operation winds down,” the letter to Vilsack states. “Please disburse the second payment for ERP 2022 as soon as possible to help these farmers and their families navigate this crisis.”

View the letter here.


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