Press Release

Rep. Cuellar: McAllen Courthouse One Step Closer

f t # e
WASHINGTON, September 12, 2017 | Abhi Rahman ((202) 340-9148) | comments
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced that the federal government has taken another step toward giving McAllen, Texas the new courthouse facilities he has been championing for years. A key committee of the governing body on U.S. court facilities has decided to recommend that McAllen’s courthouse be considered a priority.

Today, the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Courts decided to recommend McAllen for a completed feasibility study and inclusion on its Courthouse Priorities Plan, meaning it will be considered as a priority to receive new facilities.

In response, Congressman Cuellar said:

“This announcement from the Judicial Conference is another important step toward the new courthouse facilities that McAllen needs and deserves. I will continue to fight for this for my constituents.

"I am grateful for the support of Senators Cornyn and Cruz, Representatives Gonzalez and Vela, Mayor Jim Darling, and Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. This has been a team effort and their cooperation has been essential. I would also like to thank GSA and the Administrative Office of the Courts for their work on this.”

Congressman Cuellar has advocated for new courthouse facilities in McAllen since 2010, when he first directed GSA to study the issue. That study found that the current courthouse space, rented from a private owner, is not adequate, causing security concerns and other problems.

Since then, Congressman Cuellar, along with Judge Hinojosa, Senators Cornyn and Cruz, Representatives Gonzalez and Vela, and Mayor Darling, has fought for McAllen through years of red tape. In September 2016, they achieved a breakthrough when the Administrative Office of the United States Courts agreed to instruct GSA to take the next step: a phase 1 study of what actions are necessary to improve or replace the facilities in McAllen.

The results of that investigation were released by GSA in April, in a document laying out four options for the future of the courthouse. Those options, however, did not take into account the generosity of the City of McAllen and Mayor Darling who have offered to donate land for the project.

Now that the Judicial Conference has made its recommendation, it will be up to Congress to appropriate funding for this essential project. Congressman Cuellar, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, will keep the public updated about next steps in the process.
f t # e