As a former member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which oversees all federal funding for agricultural programs, Congressman Cuellar has taken proactive stances on agricultural issues of critical importance to the 28th District of Texas’ rural communities. The Agriculture Subcommittee is responsible for reviewing funding for the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Credit Administration, Farm Credit System Financial Assistance Corporation, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It provides funding for farmers, ranchers, rural development, small business development, nutrition programs, food banks, school lunches, telemedicine equipment, computers, software and construction broadband facilities.
Over the years, he has worked closely with the Texas Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to secure funding to fight cattle fever ticks, to combat the citrus greening disease, and secure drought relief and assistance for Texas farm owners. In 2018, he strongly supported H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill. The measure extended all federally funded agricultural and nutritional programs for five additional years. This not only included support for farmers and ranchers in Texas, but across the U.S.
Congressman Cuellar continues to focus on providing ample funding to the USDA’s Rural Development Agency. Among many initiatives, this Agency helps support innovative projects that address the opioid crisis in rural America. This year, the Congressman ensured the Department received $50 million for its Rural Community Facilities Program Grants. Additionally, more than $1 billion was appropriated through the Congressman’s “10-20-30” program language. This directs USDA and the Department of Interior to prioritize and set aside at least 10 percent of federal funding through specific programs for counties where 20 percent or more of the population has lived in poverty over the past 30 years (“persistent poverty areas”).
Congressman Cuellar understands the important role the Agriculture Subcommittee plays in providing all Americans with the safest, most abundant food source in the world as well as the support it offers to America’s farmers and ranchers. His appointment to the Subcommittee will allow him to more actively take part in addressing agricultural issues of critical importance to rural communities, in the 28th Congressional District of Texas, and across the country.