Cornyn Celebrates National Agriculture Day

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Texas Border Business

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today released the following statement in celebration of Texas agriculture on National Agriculture Day:

“From cotton to cattle, one in seven jobs in Texas are related to agriculture. Farmers, ranchers, and their families are a huge part of what makes Texas great.”

As the senior Senator from the leading farming and ranching state, Sen. Cornyn is a tireless advocate for Texas agriculture.

Fighting to reduce regulatory and tax burden on Texas farmers and ranchers:

  • Supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates will help family farms of all sizes pay fewer taxes.
  • Pushed back on unnecessary EPA regulations that affect production and agriculture through the Clean Air and Water Act, including support of a joint resolution of disapproval to eliminate the EPA Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • Continues to support the permanent repeal of the Death Tax, which penalizes farming and ranching families because agriculture is such a capital-intensive business.  He understands that because of increasing land values and equipment costs, the next generation is often forced to sell all or part of the farm or ranch to pay the Death Tax bill.
  • Senator Cornyn voted to repeal mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations for beef and pork as a part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2016.

Securing Disaster Assistance to Promote Agricultural Stability:

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  • Protected seed cotton eligibility for the Farm Bill safety net through the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Voted to strengthen the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs to help provide Texas agricultural producers with stability through unpredictable weather and natural disasters.
  • Supported the strengthening of crop insurance programs and other risk management tools for Texas farmers and ranchers through the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Voted to make wildfire damage to fencing eligible for reimbursement under the Emergency Conservation Program.
  • Authored language which is now law to authorize an animal disease and disaster response program and a foot and mouth disease vaccine bank to adequately address risks to animal health.

Helping Texas Producers Compete on the Global Market

  • Pushed to reduce barriers for Texas farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to sell their goods and services in new markets around the world by supporting Trade Promotion Authority and multiple free trade agreements.
  • During the negotiation of the updated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, actively pushed to modernize and improve terms to benefit Texas producers and consumers. 

Increasing Access to Water in Rural Texas:

Has taken action to enforce the terms of the 1944 bi-national Water Management Treaty, through which Mexico is required to release one-third of the water from its Rio Grande tributaries and reservoirs to the U.S. for agricultural and municipal use. Over the last several years Mexico has failed to meet the allocation requirements of the Treaty, and Sen. Cornyn has responded by:

  • Sending letters to Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson at the U.S. State Department and International Boundary and Water Commissioner Edward Drusina seeking assistance in ensuring Mexico fulfills its obligation under the treaty to provide water for drought-stricken areas in South Texas and across the state.
  • Holding meetings with Mexico Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora and Texas stakeholders to address grievances and chart a path forward together.
  • Filing amendments and introducing legislation with fellow Texas members to address the current water deficit including a provision he secured in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2016 that reinforces Mexico’s Treaty obligations to the United States and requires the State Department and the International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC) to assess the impact Mexico’s water debt has on U.S. interests and Texans. This became law on December 18, 2015.
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