January 3,2016

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Congressional Report

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a great start to the New Year. I have many goals for 2016, but I wanted to share some of the highlights for District 28 for 2015, including over $859 million worth of funding for new highway projects throughout my district, $135 million in appropriated funds for the construction of a new federal courthouse in San Antonio, an additional $26.8 million for improving the Gateway of the Americas port in Laredo, the first ever binational energy roundtable with top public and private experts on energy in both the United States and Mexico in order to foster international cooperation to train a better energy workforce, an additional $5.5 million in federal funding to combat citrus greening in the Rio Grande Valley, and the unveiling of $26.5 million in improvements at the McAllen International Airport.

I will continue to work hard for you in Congress during this next year. Feel free to contact my office should you need any assistance with a federal agency.

Congressman Cuellar Announces New Federal Funding to Help Complete More than $859 Million Worth of Highway Projects in Texas Congressional District 28

This month, I announced that under the newly-passed and signed five-year federal highway authorization bill, new money will be made available for transportation projects in each of the nine counties I represent in Congressional District 28. A full list of the federal funds available and the proposed transportation projects  in each county can be found by clicking on the link below.

Click here to read more.

Congressman Cuellar Announces Nearly $948 Million of Nationwide Federal Courthouse Construction Funds that Include New San Antonio Federal Courthouse

This month, I announced the inclusion of nearly $948 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations omnibus package, where I am a member of the House Appropriations Committee, for federal courthouse projects. This also includes $135 million in federal funding for the construction of a new federal courthouse for the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, Texas. I thank Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-4), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, for their support in this effort.

Click here to read more.

Congressman Cuellar Hosts Binational Energy Roundtable
Laredo event brings together Mexican, American officials for first discussion of its kind

In October, I held a binational energy roundtable at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) with top experts from the energy industry in both the United States and Mexico. The first event of its kind in South Texas, the discussion brought together public and private sector officials from both the United States and Mexico in order to strengthen binational cooperation and work together to develop a more advanced energy infrastructure and workforce on the border.

In addition to the roundtable discussion, I also served as an honorary witness to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between TAMIU, the Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, the Universidad de Monterrey, the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey for exchange programs for academic material, students and faculty. The MOU reaffirms the signatories’ commitment to collaborative educational programs between the two countries and recognizes the value of scientific and educational exchange for promoting the research and teaching activities of the five respective institutions. This agreement between the universities will spark innovation for the international oil and gas industry through collaboration on multiple levels.

Dr. Paula Gant, Deputy Asst. Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the Department of Energy, Alejandro I. Estivill, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Mexico to the U.S. and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) participate in a Q&A session during an energy roundtable press conference in Laredo, Texas, on October 2.

Click here to read more.

Rep. Cuellar Announces Additional $26.8 Million in Federal Funding for Bridge I Renovations

$26.8 million for Bridge I, together with previously-announced $62 million for Bridge II renovations, represents an $88.8 million federal investment in Laredo

Last week, I announced the awarding of an additional $26.8 million in federal funding for long-awaited renovations to the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge, also known as Convent Avenue Bridge I in Laredo. In June of 2015, I announced $62 million in federal funding for renovations to the Juárez-Lincoln International Bridge, also known as Bridge II. The combined funding for renovations to both bridges in Laredo are approximately $88.8 which I was able to secure during the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.

A remodeled customs building at the Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry will allow for more efficient processing of pedestrian traffic, while allowing providing protection from intense heat and other elements. (Images courtesy of GSA)
Click here to read more.

Congressman Cuellar Helps Secure $5.5 Million in Additional Federal Funding for Combating Citrus Greening

Earlier this month, l announced that I worked with representatives from other citrus-growing regions, including California and Florida, to secure $5.5 million in additional federal funding in the proposed government funding package to tackle citrus greening disease and aid the citrus industry in Texas, Florida and California. The funding will come in a combination of a one-time funding increase and a previously approved allocation of $2 million.

Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease, greens ripe citrus and misshapes the fruit, making it bitter and unmarketable. The effect of this disease on the $11.2 billion U.S. citrus industry has been damaging, especially in the Rio Grande Valley and Florida. The federal government’s main response to citrus greening disease is implemented by two groups: the HLB Multi-Agency Coordination task force (MAC) and the Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP). Both groups are under the jurisdiction of the federal government but also work with state departments of agriculture and the citrus industry to combat the disease.

Through the proposed government funding package, I secured an additional $5.5 million for control and management of the disease across the country through September 2017. This money is a one-time allocation on top of the $50 million announced this summer for a total of $55.5 million.

Click here to read more.

Rep. Henry Cuellar helps unveil $26.5 million worth of improvements to McAllen International Airport
Federal, city partnership to provide better services to passengers

In May, I helped unveil improvements made to the McAllen International Airport that were part of a $26.5 million partnership between the federal government and the City of McAllen.

With the funds, more than 55,000 square feet were added to the existing 45,000 square-foot facility. This brings the total square footage to more than 100,000. This expansion also will alleviate the overcrowding at the post-security seating area.

Also built was a terminal gate to increase the airport’s passenger capacity and a building to house the Checked Baggage Inspection System. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Passenger Screening Area was also expanded with room for additional screening lanes and new amenities were added to increase customer satisfaction and comfort.

Congressman Cuellar announces $26.5 million worth of improvements and expansion at the McAllen International Airport on May 5, of which $12.4 million were provided by the federal government.

Click here to read more.

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