Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Boosts Support for Mexico in State and Foreign Assistance Appropriations Bill

Additional funding for Mexican infrastructure, commercial, and judicial systems improves bi-national cooperation

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Washington, D.C., July 24, 2013 | comments

The House Appropriations Committee favorably reported out the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill.  This legislation sets funding levels for the State Department and foreign assistance programs for the United States government. 

“The relationship we have with Mexico is one of our strongest on the international stage.  As our third largest trading partner, over $500 billion in goods and services crossed the U.S.-Mexico border this past year.  In my hometown of Laredo, which accounts for 45 percent of trade with Mexico, over 12,000 commercial trucks cross the border every day.  I welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our economic, political, and strategic partnership with our southern neighbor.”

“I would like to thank Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX12) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY20) for their hard work in supporting the U.S. relationship with Mexico,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28). 

Cuellar was instrumental in the inclusion of several provisions aimed at improving our partnership with the Republic of Mexico.  The following provisions to improve the United State’s assistance include:

  • Counter-narcotics and law enforcement support through coordination in law enforcement efforts, including non-intrusive inspection equipment
  • Intelligence sharing efforts within the border region
  • Promotion of the rule of law, and improvements to judicial reform
  • Economic engagement support to increase global market competitiveness, and trade, investment, and job promotion between our nations.
  • Support of educational and cultural exchange programs to increase opportunities for underserved youth
  • Notification language to improve the effectiveness of the International Boundary and Water Commission and the United States Congress
  • Directive to improve levee and weir projects on the Rio Grande River

Additionally, Cuellar played a key role in protecting the appropriations below from across the board cuts to international aid and support:

  • While overall funding levels for Economic Support Fund (ESF) funding saw a decrease of $1.7 billion, funding for Mexico saw an increase of $10 million to reach a total of $45 million, aimed at improving border area infrastructure and commerce throughout the Americas
  • $148 million to combat organized crime and drug-trafficking
  • $7 million in Foreign Military Financing assistance

The legislation now awaits floor consideration by the full House and anticipated consideration by the Senate.

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