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De La Cruz Champions Legislation to Withhold Funds from Mexico Over 1944 Water Treaty Non-Compliance

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“As the representative of a large agricultural district disproportionately hurt by the Mexican government’s failure to comply with the 1944 Water Treaty, I’ve taken decisive action to protect our farmers,” De La Cruz stated. “I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation that demands action at the highest levels of the U.S. government, and I’ve met with the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Now, I’ve secured language in the appropriations bill that explicitly withholds funding until Mexico complies with the treaty." Image Source; twdb.texas.gov
“As the representative of a large agricultural district disproportionately hurt by the Mexican government’s failure to comply with the 1944 Water Treaty, I’ve taken decisive action to protect our farmers,” De La Cruz stated. “I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation that demands action at the highest levels of the U.S. government, and I’ve met with the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Now, I’ve secured language in the appropriations bill that explicitly withholds funding until Mexico complies with the treaty.” Image Source; twdb.texas.gov
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By Roberto Hugo González

In a significant legislative development, Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz (R-TX-15) has successfully advanced a measure to withhold funds from Mexico due to its failure to comply with the 1944 Water Treaty. The FY25 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill, which includes this provision, passed out of committee on Tuesday, June 4th.

Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz

The bill stipulates that funding to Mexico will be withheld until the Mexican government fulfills its obligations under the 1944 Water Treaty. As of late May 2024, Mexico is in deficit by over 870,000 acre-feet of water owed to the United States.

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“As the representative of a large agricultural district disproportionately hurt by the Mexican government’s failure to comply with the 1944 Water Treaty, I’ve taken decisive action to protect our farmers,” De La Cruz stated. “I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation that demands action at the highest levels of the U.S. government, and I’ve met with the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Now, I’ve secured language in the appropriations bill that explicitly withholds funding until Mexico complies with the treaty.”

De La Cruz emphasized the importance of this measure for her constituency, stating, “This bill sends a clear message: if the Mexican government thinks it can starve us of our water and put our farmers out of business, they are sorely mistaken. Withholding funding will highlight to everyday Mexicans their government’s failure to adhere to binding international agreements. In Congress, I won’t stop putting pressure on Mexico’s government until its leaders admit their mistakes and come to the table to make this right for Texas farmers and American consumers caught in the middle.”

The legislative journey to include this language in the bill involved multiple steps and collaborative efforts. Initially, Rep. De La Cruz requested the inclusion of the language from Subcommittee Chairman Mario Díaz-Balart. Her persistent advocacy and strategic collaboration with Diaz-Balart were crucial in ensuring the language’s inclusion. The language first passed through the subcommittee and was subsequently included in the full committee’s markup.

This process demonstrates De La Cruz’s commitment and the meticulous work required to embed such language in significant legislative bills. According to her office, she also provided testimony during a member day specifically advocating for this language. 

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The withholding of funds from Mexico is crucial for Texas agriculture, which has been severely impacted by water shortages due to Mexico’s non-compliance with the 1944 Water Treaty. This legislative measure aims to pressure Mexico into fulfilling its treaty obligations, thereby providing much-needed relief and support to Texas farmers and South Texas communities.

The funds in question are appropriated for various development projects and will not impact programs related to drug crises or human trafficking. This clarification is important to ensure that the measure is understood in its proper context and does not cause unnecessary alarm about other critical funding streams.

The FY25 Foreign Operations appropriations bill passed out of the full committee on June 12th and included Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz’s language to withhold funds from Mexico until it meets its obligations under the 1944 water treaty.

Chairman Mario Díaz-Balart. Image Source: US House Office of Photography, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz thanks Subcommittee Chairman Mario Díaz-Balart for his leadership on this issue. She also thanks Appropriations Committee Member Rep. Henry Cuellar for his support and that of the Texas Congressional delegation, including U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

The legislative development concerning the 1944 Water Treaty is a significant step toward ensuring water security for Texas. It highlights the detailed and joint work of Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz and her colleagues. This measure aims to address the critical water deficit issue, ensuring fair and equitable water distribution between the United States and Mexico.

The withholding of funds is a strategic move to compel Mexico to comply with its treaty obligations, ultimately aiming to protect and support Texas farmers and the South Texas community. This development marks a key moment in the ongoing efforts to secure water resources for Texas and uphold international agreements.

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