WASHINGTON— Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) helped secure $148 million in the U.S. House of Representative’s fiscal year 2019 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, supporting small businesses and alleviating regulations on small financial institutions. He also secured language supporting local businesses by increasing trade efficiency and funding development centers in the South Texas region. He remains committed to relieving any excess regulation placed on small banks and encouraging legitimate financial transactions to move freely and globally. This bill passed full committee markup and is scheduled to be sent to the House and Senate Floors for a vote this summer.
Helping Small Businesses Along the Border
Congressman Cuellar has worked hard to protects consumers, strengthens financial oversight institutions and invest in community small business programs in the 28th District. This bill includes $130 million for Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) which provide local, in-person counseling and training services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the country. (See attached bill language)
Currently there are a number of Small Business Development Centers located throughout the South Texas region, providing business advising, training, and research services to its constituents. In the 28th District, Texas A & M International University (TAMIU), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have all partnered with SBDCs. These centers help provide small business owners with the opportunity to achieve long-term growth and profitability, which in turn, helps entrepreneurs and increases economic development.
The congressman also helped secure $18 million for the STEP (State Trade & Export Promotion) Program, which provides funding for small business exporting assistance programs, helping entrepreneurs in South Texas remain competitive in a complex, growing global market. (See attached bill language)
Alleviating Burden of Small Financial Institutions
Congressman Cuellar has worked hard to build a strong record of support for small financial institutions. He recognizes that small businesses need the support of small banks in order to generate jobs and fund the local economy. In the bill, the congressman secured language directing banking regulators to specifically look to small institutions when considering exemptions. By doing so, this gives constituents in the 28th district more opportunities to apply for small loans, lowering consumer prices. (See attached bill language)
The congressman has taken great strides to hold the government responsible for creating economic gridlock and discouraging legitimate financial transactions. Excess oversight and invasive regulations have constrained South Texas’ economic potential. With this bill, Congressman Cuellar has placed pressure on federal regulators to instead facilitate the growth of our local small businesses. He has emphasized that growth must be attained at the grassroots level with increased disbursement of and greater access to credit.
The bill also includes language that encourages legitimate financial transactions to move freely and globally, which has a direct impact on trade between the United States and Mexico. Mexico is the United States’ second-largest export partner and third-largest import partner. Laredo’s five ports account for 363,000 jobs, 32 percent of all international trade in Texas and $52 billion of Texas’ gross domestic product. (See attached bill language)
“As a former small business owner, I understand how difficult it can be to comply with burdensome regulations while staying afloat. The need for credit to keep your doors open and support your employees’ jobs is critical,” said Congressman Cuellar.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy— this funding will help eliminate heavy burdens and increase job growth in my district. It will also alleviate regulations on small financial institutions, increase trade with other countries and lower prices for consumer goods.”
Congressman Cuellar added, “I would like to thank my fellow Appropriators, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Graves and Ranking Member Quigley for helping me secure these funds.”