Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) voted to make targeted investments in areas that will rebuild our economy, provide jobs and build up our infrastructure. The Consolidated Appropriations Act builds on our strategic economic plan to provide short-term help for the hardest hit Americans during this economic crisis and long-term solutions to grow our economy for years to come.
“My number one priority is rebuilding our economy and creating jobs in my district,” said Hinojosa. “This bill will allow us to provide short-term help to those who need it most while making long-term investments in building up our workforce and helping our youth get the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future”.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act will invest $1.4 billion in training and support services for workers impacted by mass layoffs and plant closures. It will support small businesses, the engines of job growth in this country, by providing funding to support $28 billion in new SBA lending for firms having trouble borrowing in this market. It will put people back to work rebuilding our nation’s crumbing infrastructure. We invested almost $42 billion to improve our highways, $2.5 billion to build next generation high speed rail and $6.4 billion to keep Americans safe with airport modernization and modernizing air traffic control. This bill will also build the workforce of the future with top notch education from pre-K to post-graduate. We boosted funding for funding science education, Head Start, and Pell Grants.
This Consolidated Appropriations Act will fund many projects in the 15th Congressional District of Texas including:
- The University of Texas-Pan American will receive $250,000 for South Texas Border Disparities Center. The funding will be used to conduct research and education addressing health disparities in diabetes, cancer, obesity and other high-incidences diseases in Hispanic populations along the US-Mexico border.
- Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas will receive $220,000 for a Mobile Simulation Lab. The rural community college is training nurses and health professionals in a region with chronic shortages. Currently, due to the distance and lack of transportation between clinical facilities, many students cannot easily obtain the training they need to complete their studies. The Mobile Simulation Lab will allow these students to obtain clinical experience in their communities.
- The Hidalgo County Health Department in Edinburg, Texas will receive $230,000 for its Hidalgo County Mobile Health Clinic. The Mobile Health Clinic will allow the County Public Health Department to reach and treat thousands of citizens who live in areas, like colonias, where it is extremely difficult for the residents to travel for their medical treatment.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act increases funding for infrastructure, health, and education to create jobs immediately while investing in our local communities and workforce for the long term. It invests $1.4 billion in training and support services for workers impacted by mass layoffs and plant closures. To support small businesses – the engines of job growth in this country – it provides additional lending funds for firms having trouble borrowing capital in this market.
This bill includes funding for three projects in the Rio Grande Valley and for the entire length of our border with Mexico for flood control. They are:
- FM 493 in Hidalgo County will receive $300,000 through the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation and Community & System Preservation program for improvements to the road that serves as the primary point of entry for the new Donna/Rio Bravo international bridge.
- The North Rail Relocation Project in Cameron County will receive $400,000 through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Rail Line Relocation and Improvement program to continue the relocation of lines from downtown to remove at-grade crossings and allow emergency vehicles to more quickly reach those in need.
- South Texas International Airport in Edinburg will receive $500,000 through the Federal Aviation Administration through its Airport Improvement Program to improve and lengthen runways and add fire and safety infrastructure.
- International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC)-Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation in Texas will receive $21,400,000 to construct and repair levees and flood control infrastructure from El Paso to Brownsville, Texas.
The bill also provides increased funding for state and local law enforcement to keep our communities safe here at home. It also provides for manufacturing research.
- The McAllen Economic Development Corporation will receive $300,000 to design and plan a Research and Education Park focused on delivering customization for advanced manufacturing.
- Bee County Sheriff’s Department will receive $250,000 to train and equip several new officers-helping this small, rural community that is on the northern route of border drug trafficking.
Beyond investments in job creation, healthcare, education, transportation and other infrastructure, the remaining budget items in the bill saw only a 1% increase in funding.
“We know that growing our economy and creating jobs depends on smart, targeted investments,” said Hinojosa. “But we cannot do that by passing on the bill for investments to our children and grandchildren. That’s why we looked closely at our budget to eliminate and cut programs that aren’t working in order to reduce the deficit and put us on a path toward fiscal responsibility.”