Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Secures Critical Funding for South Texas in the First Spending Package

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), July 24, 2020

Washington, D.C. —Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secures significant victories for South Texas and other communities across America in H.R. 7608, the first “minibus” of fiscal year 2021 Appropriations bills, which passed the House today.

“During these unprecedented times, it is critical that we create a spending package that expands opportunities for every person in this country,” said Congressman Cuellar. “That’s why I worked hard to secure a number of provisions in the spending package that will strengthen food security, prioritize public health and safety, invest in infrastructure, support service members, veterans, and military families, protect the environment, and combat climate change.

“As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I am committed to making strong investments in our people, our economy, and our national security. I want to thank Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Kay Granger for their tireless work on this minibus.”

H.R. 7608 totals $259.5 billion in funding and consists of four FY 2021 appropriations bills: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

Below are a number of notable provisions for South Texas communities in H.R. 7608:

Food Security

As a member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Appropriations, Congressman Cuellar helped secure strong funding and protections to help put nutritious food on people’s tables during this time of economic crisis and rising food insecurity. Specifically, he helped provide $68.277 billion for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $25.131 billion child nutrition programs, and $5.75 billion for Women Infants and Children food program.

To read about the major provisions in the FY21 Agriculture- Rural Development Appropriations bill, click here.


The Congressman helped increased investments in broadband to connect more Americans to work, school, health care, and family in the FY21 Agriculture- Rural Development Appropriations bill. Specifically, Congressman Cuellar helped include $990 million for the Rural Broadband ReConnect Program, $435 million above fiscal year 2020.

In addition, the Congressman helped include provisions that will make communities safer and healthier by providing investments to ensure that all Americans have access to clean and safe drinking water. For example, the Congressman helped secure

  • $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans, and more than $610 million in water and waste grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary waste disposal systems.
  • $15.17 billion in water infrastructure and other infrastructure programs, including $12.97 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, and $546 million to get lead out of drinking water.

To read about the major provisions in the FY21 Agriculture- Rural Development Appropriations bill, click here.

Veterans and Military Families

Congressman Cuellar works to honor our nation’s commitment to the men and women in our armed services, to veterans, and to military families in the fiscal year 2021 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill.  The Appropriations bill provides $12.5 billion in emergency appropriations for VA to address sharply rising health care costs.

The bill also includes $10.1 billion for military construction projects, with language ensuring these funds cannot be stolen for the President’s wasteful border wall. These funds will provide for the construction of facilities to enable our military to fight current and emerging threats, to support increased troop levels, and to sustain services for military families. This includes operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, barracks, and other important resources.

To read about the major provisions in the FY21 Military Construction-VA Appropriations bill, click here.

National Security

Congressman Cuellar helped provide robust funding to advance our diplomatic and development priorities, ensure the effectiveness of our foreign assistance, and strengthen the international partnerships that are critical to maintaining and expanding American influence and effectiveness on the world stage.

The bill provides $3.55 billion for assistance to foreign countries through international organizations and banks. Specifically, Congressman Cuellar helped secure language on the limitation on callable capital subscription to the North American Development Bank (NADB).

To read about the major provisions in the FY21 State and Foreign Operations bill, click here.

Environment and Climate Change

In the fiscal year 2021 Interior-Environment spending bill, Congressman Cuellar helped make significant investments in protecting and preserving public lands, building resilience to climate change, strengthening America’s environmental workforce, and ensuring access to safe drinking water. Specifically, the Congressman helped secure $9.38 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), $318 million increase from FY20.

To read about the major provisions in the FY21 Interior- Environment Appropriations bill, click here.